What is a PBX?

July 28th, 2016

What is a PBX?

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange and it is a telephone system within a business. It provides a range of additional call functionality such as allowing users to call each other internally and also making efficient use of external phone lines.

Why would a company use a PBX?

The main reason for a company to use a PBX phone system is to save money. As the external phone lines are shared between all internal users it means the company does not have to purchase a dedicated phone line for each user in the building. The second reason is for the additional functionality provided by a PBX system that enables the company to provide a greater call experience for their customers with features such as call queue with music instead of callers getting an engaged tone. This is important as industry stats show that 38% of callers are willing to hold for longer to speak with you if they’re listening to music rather than a traditional ring tone.

Challenges around a traditional PBX

When a company runs their own business PBX there are lots of challenges around it. The main issue is the high cost of purchasing and maintaining it. The ability to expand can also prove difficult as the whole system may have to be replaced. Should additional capacity be required it is often a long and costly process to get more external phone lines installed. New advances in PBX technology will not be available straight away and again may require on-site upgrades or replacement.


Nowadays, the most popular alternative to a traditional PBX is a cloud based PBX. These are hosted and maintained by a third party telecoms company and can be easily rented for a small monthly charge. They are better value than a traditional PBX and have no maintenance or running costs. Virtual PBX’s also offer more advanced and newer features whenever they become available so the company does not have to worry about upgrading or installing these new features. Finally, it is very easy to expand a cloud based PBX and is often simply a case of increasing the monthly payment package online or over the phone. This is very useful if a company only requires the extra phone lines for a few weeks (e.g. for an advertising campaign or period of promotion).


To conclude business PBX’s are very important for companies whether it be a traditional PBX or a cloud based PBX. For advice on how a cloud based PBX can benefit your business call SwitchboardFREE on 0203 189 12 13 or visit https://www.switchboardfree.co.uk

To instantly create your own free cloud based PBX account check out SwitchboardFREE. There are more than 20 professional features available with every number including missed call alerts to your email, on hold music and department selection. Find out more here: https://www.switchboardfree.co.uk/.