Where traditional PBX systems transmit calls as analog signals over a circuit-switched network, VoIP PBX phone systems transmit digital signals as data packets over the Internet.
VoIP telephone systems for small business offer many advantages over the traditional PBX phone system. The primary advantages of a VoIP PBX phone system are cost, scalability, and efficiency.
Using the Internet rather than the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for business telephone traffic can eliminate the need for a traditional phone carrier. Using a VoIP service provider instead of a phone utility can:
- Lower a company's monthly phone bills
- Yield more call control features
- Offer greater flexibility and economy when adding lines
With a VoIP PBX, local calls are usually free, and long-distance can be free or extremely inexpensive, depending on the VoIP provider. (Some VoIP providers offer low per-minute rates, others provide allotted minutes with inexpensive per-minute overage charges. Still other VoIP providers offer unlimited domestic long-distance.)
International calls are also inexpensive (often less than .10￠ per minute), and some VoIP service provider plans allow free calls to landlines in select countries.
VoIP PBX systems for small business also offer cost-savings in call control features. With a traditional PBX system, advanced call controls are typically high-priced convenience features. Sometimes, adding additional services to a traditional PBX could not only incur charges for the service itself, but might also require expensive equipment upgrades just to accommodate it.
In contrast, many advanced telephony features are offered as standard (or inexpensive add-on) options to VoIP business PBX phone systems. Using a hosted VoIP PBX system also reduces the cost of software or hardware changes to the PBX, as they are borne by the hosting company.
Call control features of a VoIP PBX system can include:
- Do not disturb
- Extension dialing
- Simultaneous ring
- Call forwarding
- 3-way calling
- Outlook/browser integration (click-to-call)
- Company directory
Companies using VoIP PBX for their business telephone systems can also benefit from consolidating their phone bills, especially if they have multiple locations, and the disaster recovery services that only come with digital, Internet phone service.