Hosted PBX vs SIP Trunking

A PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange which is a business phone system. A PBX connects phones and voice apps like a voicemail, auto-attendant, etc. today, a PBX is a telephony software that runs on a server in your office space or is hosted by a third party. Most PBXs and phones that work with them utilise the SIP protocol, it is a communication protocol for signalling and controlling multimedia communication sessions. 

A hosted PBX system is a complete solution that connects the PSTN and maintains by a third party. SIPs trunks are a gateway for your on-site PBX to an ISP provider. 

Pw we are going to discuss the right key differences between hosted PBX and on-site services.

  • Hardware Costs

In order to set up a hosted phone PBX, your office will need routers, business-grade broadband service, and IP-phones. The service provider ‘hosts’ and maintains the actual PBX servers, hence, you don’t require any extra hardware. From this point of view, hosted phone services save your money on initial start-up cost.

On the other hand, an on-site PBX and SIP trunking, need significant upfront capital cost. IT team has to install on-premise PBX servers and connect SIP trunking service. Additionally, its often recommended that a company install separate internet connection for the SIP trunking services. 

  • Software Interface

Maintain an on-site PBX system needs networking and software management experts to operate. Having an IT team member on hand is essential to maintain your on-site PBX system and SIP trunking services. Without the expertise of PBX software, your business risks losing pone service completely during a power outage. If you cannot afford to hire a full time IT staff, then there are also freelance IT personnel who work with small businesses.

Hosted phone system users do not need to worry about such problems. The phone system is controlled through an online Admin panel, designed for user-friendliness and whole system maintenance is controlled by the VoIP service provider.

  • Call Quality and Security

Generally, with PBX and SIP trunking, the most significant variable in your quality of the call is your internet connection. If your internet is suffering from delay, jitter, insufficient bandwidth or packet loss, this will degrade your calls. You can also assess your network quality with a VoIP network test. Similarly, if your network is not secure, you expose your telephone system to potential security breaches.

If you select SIP trunk services that run a dedicated connection to you, this leads to better security and connectivity. Although, nowadays, most PBX and SIP trunking services send data packets over the public internet. You can check with the service provider on how they can ensure the quality of call and security. 

  • Scalability

SIP trunking services can scale out to an extent; however, they need you to buy more on-site servers when you significantly expand. One PBX can usually hand up to a couple of hundred phones. On the contrary, popular hosted VoIP phone services have virtually unlimited space for your users. Hosted system allows you to add new users and phones to your phone system in just a few simple steps. Typically, it is so easy that a non IT-professional can manage it. With IP phone booting, the whole process for adding a new phone to your network can be done inside your browser.

  • Ongoing Costs

Once your hosted phone is set up you will have to pay monthly subscription charges to use the VoIP phone service. Typically, business VoIP UK offer multiple plans and bill by the user, calling minute and/or feature. Depending on the requirements of your team, you will have to pay anywhere from 10/month per user to £50/month per user.

Once pricing plan that the SIP trunking use is per channel. Every channel allows you to make one call simultaneously. If you require 10 employees on the phone simultaneously, you may need 10 SIP channels to accommodate them. Typically charging by the channel is a flat rate per month package. 

  • Calling Features

Hosted phone providers compete against one another to develop leading calling features. Competition drives VoIP service providers to release new third-party integrations, custom call centre reporting, real-time communications, instant video conferencing and much more. On-site PBX tends to miss out on these new calling features unless you have a dedicated software engineer who can build and maintain customised telephony applications. 

  • Geographical Flexibility

One of the key benefits of a hosted system is geographic flexibility. This allows your staff access to phone system even when they are outside the office space. features like mobile apps and web phones allows users to access the office phone system from their different devices.

  • Maintenance

The only maintenance for a hosted system that you will be responsible for it adding users, modifying features and other internal changes. Your provider will take care of the server and software maintenance. They have a dedicated IT team which manages power outages, disruptions, and upgrades.

On the contrary, these problems have to be handled by your own IT team if you are utilising an on-site SIP trunking services. The servers are stored on your site, and their upkeep will be left to you. If your PBX provider releases a new update, your network administrator will have to reinstall the software and reconfigure your servers for the changes to take effect such as scheduled downtime for your system.

The Verdict

There are a lot of factors that you need to consider while selecting a phone system for your business. Flexibility, security, scalability, maintenance and ongoing costs are some of the key differences between selecting a hosted VoIP system and a SIP trunking services.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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