How to Choose Between a Hosted PBX and a SIP Trunk

0 Comments 14 January 2015

Every month a certain piece of mail arrives at all businesses. The envelope is begrudgingly opened and many business owners collectively groan. It’s the monthly phone bill, and only businesses using VoIP are happy to see it.

Businesses that use VoIP phone service often see their monthly phone bill 60 to 80% cheaper than it was with traditional phone service. VoIP, also called Internet calling, transmits phone calls using the Internet instead of using pricey old analog landlines.

Companies also have the choice of utilizing two different IP solutions to save extra money: a hosted PBX or a SIP trunk. But when should a company choose a hosted PBX or a SIP trunk?

First of All, What is a Hosted PBX and a SIP Trunk?

A PBX is a piece of hardware that splits a main office phone line into individual extensions. The PBX connects internal calls, such as one office to another, and the PBX connects internal calls with outside calls.

A hosted PBX is located off-site and is hosted by the SIP trunk is the external component of a PBX and translates all incoming and outgoing calls into cheap Internet calls. A SIP trunk attaches to an in-house IP PBX or an adapted in-house legacy PBX.

Does the Company Already Have PBX Equipment That It Wants to Continue Using?

Many established businesses still have an in-house legacy PBX that runs off expensive analog technology. If the company wishes to keep that PBX hardware they can sometimes use a VoIP adapter to allow the traditional PBX to use the Internet to transfer calls. A SIP trunk can then attach to an in-house IP PBX or an adapted in-house legacy PBX. With a hosted PBX, a company would need to get rid of their old legacy PBX completely.

Does the Company Want In-House Hardware or Off-Site Hardware?

Whether or not the company wants in-house or off-site hardware usually depends on whether or not the business has an IT staff. In-house hardware needs routine maintenance and IT help if an issue ever arises. For companies that already have this kind of staff on hand, a SIP trunk is usually the preferred option.

Companies that don’t want the responsibility of in-house hardware usually chose a hosted PBX. The VoIP provider is responsible for maintaining it and everything is handled off-site.

Does the Company Experience Several Concurrent Phone Calls?

Hosted PBXs are often chosen by companies with several extensions with a high volume of simultaneous phone calls due to the cheap prices of VoIP extensions. Hosted PBX providers often offer prices at around $20/month per extension for unlimited calling.

SIP trunks are often chosen by companies with a low volume of concurrent phone calls. SIP trunks consolidate extensions. Companies only need to buy the number of SIP trunks based on their expected concurrent calls. For instance, if the company has 50 extensions lines but only experiences about 10 concurrent phone calls at a time, then they only have to buy 10 SIP trunks or enough SIP trunks that can handle 10 simultaneous phone calls.

The Final Word

Truthfully, either option of a hosted PBX or a SIP trunk will save companies money. Internet calling is much cheaper than traditional phone service, so both IP options will benefit companies in the long run.

In the end, it really boils down to the in-house or off-site nature of each technology and the abundance of simultaneous calls the company experiences. For companies that want off-site service and experience an abundant amount of concurrent calls, a hosted PBX is probably the best option for them. For companies with existing in-house hardware and a low volume of concurrent calls, a SIP trunk is often the best choice for them.

Originally posted 2013-06-20 17:38:08.

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