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Written by
Katy Ratican
31 Oct 2022
4 minutes

What do PBX phone systems cost?

Everything to know about PBX phone system costs to help you choose the right business phone
PBX phone system cost

For medium and large enterprises, a PBX or private branch exchange is a robust way to optimise their communication needs. It’s more expensive than modern and scalable flexible phone systems but businesses get more control with a PBX. If you’re considering deploying one, it’s vital that you know all about PBX phone system cost.

While it requires more upfront investments and maintenance costs, a PBX comes with several features, if you’re looking for a conventional phone system. This article will explain PBX phone system cost, provider and maintenance costs and offer a simple and smarter alternative.

On-premise vs hosted PBX

Before we get to PBX cost, it’s important to understand the differences between on-premise and hosted PBX systems. An on-premise PBX system is hosted at the site of the business. While it requires initial investments in hardware, and businesses will have to take care of its maintenance, it gives greater control over the system.

In hosted PBX, the PBX is hosted by the provider at their location. As a client, you would have access through the cloud and that’s why it’s also called a cloud PBX. With no installation or maintenance costs, cloud PBX highly benefits modern businesses looking for an agile, flexible and remote-friendly phone system.

PBX phone system cost

PBX phone system cost varies depending on your requirements. The price starts from around £30 and can go up to hundreds of pounds for advanced models with added functionalities.

If you run a call centre with several agents, your PBX cost would be significantly higher, ranging from £800 to £1000 per employee. But the more phones you buy, the incremental cost per unit would come down.

PBX provider costs

A provider would give you PBX costs after analysing your needs. On-premise PBX would be more expensive to install and maintain and the provider would charge you based on these factors:

  • Number of users in your organisation

  • Existing or anticipated usage

  • Number of sites that need connection

  • Network traffic

  • Location of the main system and its connection to the other systems

Hosted PBX is scalable and gives you the flexibility to add and remove users and locations. Cloud PBX providers charge monthly subscription plans that you can choose based on these factors:

  • Number of users

  • Number of required features

  • Usage over-allocated minutes

Some hosted PBX providers reduce the cost per user if you opt for a higher subscription plan. They also offer discounts for annual payments.

On-premise PBX costs

If you decide to get an on-premise system, your PBX costs will include what you pay for buying, renting or leasing. You also have to pay for the hardware and its installation and maintenance. Here’s a detailed breakdown of on-premise PBX cost.

  • Phones: These start at around £30

  • Switchboard/server: Servers manage the calls and start from around £50

  • Gateways: Linking your system with the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), these start from £200

  • Ethernet switch: The central station in your system, it will cost around £12

  • Internet charges: These depend on your usage and start at around £18

When you add everything up, it’s clear that on-premise PBX costs are significantly high. Even with normal requirements, you would have to invest around £4000 just on installation.

PBX maintenance costs

PBX might seem to be a stable and robust phone system but if you consider getting one, you should think about its maintenance costs, As discussed earlier, no matter how minimal your needs are, you would still need to pay up to £4000 to get the system running. Then, you have to take care of its repairs and pay for replacement units.

So, how much does PBX maintenance costs? You may have to pay up to £4000 every year, according to a study. But there’s more. The cost of repairs and replacement would depend on these factors that would naturally go up as your business grows:

  • Additional users

  • Additional lines

  • Additional features

  • Equipment repair

That’s why small businesses are increasingly opting for smarter, agile, and affordable phone systems.

Chalkboard: Affording you the tools to grow your business

An analysis of PBX and VoIP phone number apps will tell you that PPBX systems served the needs of a different era. Today’s businesses need phone systems that are flexible, easy to maintain and highly scalable. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Chalkboard, a virtual number designed for the needs of small businesses and independent creatives.

This second line for work doesn’t take any effort to install or maintain. Download the app and you’ve got yourself a new number that you can confidently share with your customers and business associates.

You don’t have to pay for needless hardware since the app works on any connected device. And maintenance? Well, there is none!

Chalkboard comes loaded with tools to help your business grow. You can organise your contacts into work and personal groups. The app’s group broadcast and advanced chat make it easy to share marketing messages with your customers and address their grievances. You can also share your number with your team to improve collaboration and set up auto-reply for calls you might miss.

Download Chalkboard and start your free trial. This advanced and affordable phone system has all the benefits of a PBX without any of the problems.

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