An Overview Of Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Systems


A private branch exchange (PBX) is a way to manage telephone calls within a business. A PBX is different from the traditional public switch telephone network (PSTN) that most residential customers use. The PBX is owned and operated by the office or business that it serves. These systems have been around for decades. They were once manually managed by a live operator although most modern digital systems are automated. The PBX allows calls to be made within the business without requiring external assistance from a major phone company. The PBX also acts as an intermediary and allows calls to be made and received from outside of the business through the PSTN.

Exchange Setup
A PBX consists of several different components. Each desk or office receives a standard telephone. These phone lines are bound together internally and then attached to the actual exchange. The exchange could be a piece of dedicated hardware or a series of components that are attached to a computer that is running customized software. The actual exchange is then connected to the PSTN through standard phone lines, T1 lines or sometimes through the Internet. Exchanges in certain locations support both analog and digital connections so that they remain compliant with the local public infrastructure.

Internal Calls
A PBX handles the routing of all calls that are placed inside of the network between employees. Each of the phones is assigned a number within the internal system. This is usually referred to as an extension. An extension is only three to five digits long unlike traditional telephone numbers. Anyone within the business is able to dial the extension in order to reach a particular phone. Internal calls are connected and managed directly by the PBX independent of the external public phone infrastructure. The direct management of the internal lines and protocols makes it very easy to implement many advanced features within the network such as call waiting, conference calling and digital voicemail.

Outside Calls
A PBX is capable of connecting an internal phone line to the external PSTN so that any phone number can be called. This sometimes involves converting a digital internal signal to an analog signal that can travel along older lines. The same process also works in reverse and can connect an incoming call from an external phone to an internal line. The exchange operates automatically according to the settings that were established during installation. Calls that involve a PSTN are metered and managed mostly by a larger telecommunications company. This means that the special features that the PBX provides might not be available when connected to an outside line.

The primary advantage of a PBX is cost. Hundreds of internal phone lines can all share a single external phone like or T1 line. The business only has to pay for that one external line. A hosted PBX is delivered to a business across the Internet so that there is no need to purchase any equipment beyond digital phones for each employee. Another advantage is the easy installation of a front-end system that provides automated guidance for people calling the business. Additionally, a PBX is easily integrated into a time management or call quality system so that metrics and performance can be measured without requiring intermediate hardware.

This post was provided by Mathew Reynolds, a business man in Toronto. His company uses voip pbx Toronto services from a trusted company: Core Telecom Innovations Inc. at 30 Via Renzo Drive #200 Richmond Hill, ON L4S 0B8 Canada ?+1 416-425-6111.

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