Phone systems may be classified as either KSU, PBX, or VoIP. For each of the three types there are hosted (cloud) and non-hosted versions, depending on the provider.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Voice over IP (VoIP) is the latest Phone innovation for businesses and the most advanced system because it uses an Internet connection instead of traditional Phone lines.
VoIP phones are available for sale as stand-alone options or as a hybrid Phone system, compatible with PBX systems or even some key Phone systems. They have many advantages over traditional Phone systems, such as better call quality, less maintenance, greater functionality and better flexibility for communication. One factor that is important need to consider is to ensure that the Internet connection is able to handle the traffic from the VoIP.
VoIP systems need a VoIP that is compatible phone device to operate, which is specially designed for this type of system. However, it is also possible to use an analogue Phone adapter to ‘transform’ a phone that is traditional into a VoIP one. The average price of a voIP that is single set is around £60.
VoIP phone systems don’t have fixed prices since they are fully customizable and prices depend on whether the phones are on-premise or hosted. On average, prices can range from £2,000-15,000. With the hosted VoIP, the payment is per end user and can be £12-30 monthly.
Key Business Phone System (KSU)
The key business Phone system is the most basic model of phone system available on the market. Also known as KSU - because it uses the Key System Unit to manually select phone lines - this system offers basic features and is very easy to use - making it a perfect solution for small businesses. However, KSU has the disadvantage of having a lack of portability and flexibility. Prices typically vary between £100-200.
A variation is the KSU-Less, which is totally wireless and does not require a central switching unit. KSU-Less systems are the cheapest available option with prices starting below £100. They are very cost-effective as there is no infrastructure to install. The limitations are concerned by the drawbacks of extensions. Therefore, these systems are recommended for businesses that don’t receive or make a large volume of calls.
Private Branch Exchange system (PBX)
Another type of system is the PBX, a much more system that is advanced KSU and KSU-Less systems. PBX systems use a programmable switching device which allows for the automatic redirection of calls. Even without electricity, it is possible to continue the businesses operations for a certain period of time, as PBX Phone systems offer, among other advanced features, an un interruptible power supply (UPS).
PBX is recommended for bigger companies, given the practicality and convenience of the automated system, which can be hosted on premise or by a Phone provider. However, the on PBX that is premise-based has limitations, as opposed to the hosted PBX.
Prices for PBXs are higher than KSU systems and range from around £130 for a system with 2 lines and up to 6 extensions, to £700+ for a system with 16 lines and 64 extensions.