(PRWEB) March 21, 2013
In just five years, the FCC predicts that the PSTN (the public switched telephone network, the network behind the analog telephone system) will be a thing of the past. Traditional phone service will be replaced with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the technology that uses Internet protocol in place of analog relay to send phone calls.
Many companies are trading in their legacy PBXs for more cost-efficient IP PBX solutions. A PBX, or private branch exchange, is hardware or software that an office uses to route calls between extensions and to outside lines. An IP PBX uses VoIP to make those connections (as opposed to a legacy PBX which sends calls as analog data).
Businesses that want an IP PBX typically have a choice between a hosted PBX and an on-premise IP PBX with SIP trunking. A hosted PBX routes calls using a cloud platform, while an on-premise IP PBX routes calls using on-site hardware or software. Businesses with an on-premise IP PBX also need a SIP trunking service to connect the on-premise IP PBX’s extensions with outside lines.
The choice between a hosted PBX and an on-premise IP PBX starts first with whether the business can afford on-site hardware or software. However, there are several additional factors a business should consider before choosing their business VoIP solution. So, VoIP Review has released the top questions business VoIP customers should ask when deciding between a hosted PBX or SIP trunking solution.
1. How many simultaneous calls does the business expect?
With SIP trunking, the business is paying for simultaneous calls, whereas with a hosted PBX they are paying for extensions. A SIP trunking plan includes a SIP trunk with a certain number of ports, with one port allowing one call at a time. For example, if a business has a SIP trunk with 10 ports, they can have 10 simultaneous calls. There are also SIP trunking plans that offer unlimited ports.
SIP trunking plans are not limited by extension, though; a business can have more extensions than they have SIP trunk ports. So, a business that doesn’t expect a lot of simultaneous calls, but wants a large number of extensions might choose SIP trunking.
However, if a business wants every extension to have outbound and inbound calling capacity, a hosted PBX plan might be the better solution. With a hosted PBX, every extension can make and receive its own calls. In essence, each hosted PBX extension has its own SIP trunking service.
2. What is easiest for the business to manage in monthly subscription options?
The monthly cost for an on-premise IP PBX is the SIP trunking plan, and plans vary based on the number of ports the business wants. If the business wants 5 ports, for example, they can expect to pay $55/month. However, if they want unlimited ports, those plans typically cost $400/month.
With a hosted PBX, plans can range anywhere between $35/month per user and $20/month per user. The monthly rate ultimately depends on the number of extensions the business needs. The more extensions the business needs, the cheaper the monthly rate per user.
3. Can the business handle its own repair and maintenance costs?
With an on-premise IP PBX, the business is responsible for regular maintenance and support of the hardware or software. Typically, that means the business must keep an IT technician on staff to troubleshoot any problems.
With a hosted PBX solution, however, the provider supports the IP PBX directly. The business VoIP provider will take care of any problems that arise, and they will upgrade the PBX when necessary. Business that don’t want to manage their IP PBX might choose a hosted PBX solution.