What are PBX systems and how do they work?
PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a private telephone network used by organisations to communicate internally and externally through channels like Voice over IP, ISDN or analogue. PBX features include free transfer calls between users, voicemail, call recording, interactive voice menus (IVRs) and call queues through more phones than physical phone lines (PTSN).
Companies that use traditional PBXs may have their own branded phones and normally re-use these phones with a different system. There are two types of systems: system-lock-in when companies are bound to the same system because changing it means also changing phones, and vendor-lock-in when companies are bound to the same vendor because the phones are only usable with systems from the same vendor, sometimes only within a particular range of systems.
The consumer telephony landscape has been impacted by advances in technology such as the Open-Standards-based IP PBX, meaning that phone calls are carried by Internet Protocol as the essential communications transfer technology. VoIP uses computer networks and other devices to ‘mimic’ traditional phones and phone lines for a familiar telephone end-user experience. As with a traditional line, a VoIP link consists of a service provider and an end-user who owns a telephone instrument. However, in this case, the provider is based in the ‘cloud’.
Integration with VoIP Technology
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or IP telephony, is a method and group of technologies for voice communications and multimedia exchanges over Internet Protocol networks. Internet calls are voice data sent in packets using IP rather than traditional circuit transmissions. There are several Internet telephony applications available. Some are bundled with popular Web browsers and others are stand-alone products. An advantage of VoIP is that telephone calls over the Internet are more affordable since they do not incur additional charges beyond what the user is paying for Internet access, similar to users not paying for sending individual emails over the Internet.