Hosted PBX is a VoIP-enabled business voice service that provides customers with a complete telephone service for their business without requiring them to install and manage complicated, expensive equipment. PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is where an incoming call can be routed to different extensions; therefore, when the PBX is hosted, the user does not have to provide on-premises equipment. Instead, a service provider handles the technical aspect(s).
Aside from the technical aspect, Hosted PBX offers a number of benefits. In addition to routing calls, handling holds and transfers, and allowing more than one person to be reached from a single business number, Hosted PBX also manages all incoming calls (not immediately picked up). Hosted PBX also comes full with standard VoIP services including voicemail, faxes, automated greetings/messages, touchtone menus, conferences, call records, and phone calls.
While SIP Trunking comes equipped with the above features, Hosted PBX also offers cost efficiency as there is no high startup cost for buying hardware. Also, there’s never upgrade cost or changing hardware more easily.
One of the main differences between these two services is size of intended use. For example, for a small business with 20 employees or less, Hosted PBX solution is the better choice. Opposite this, businesses with 20+ employees typically benefit from SIP Trunking service. While both services offer the same services, better benefit small businesses.
Another difference rests within the level of flexibility both services offer. Typically, SIP Trunking provides the same IT infrastructure to maintain a user’s PBX, but also offers a greater level of flexibility in pricing.
SIP Trunking is also able to offer superior security. Additionally, the IP PBX that is utilized by SIP Trunking allows for much less bandwidth to be used. Hosted PBX on the other hand uses as much as 6-8 times more. This is due to Hosted PBX’s inability to scale accordingly.
Both SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX services offer a number of features and benefits. While they often overlap, SIP Trunking is becoming the more commonly selected option. This is a result of a number of advantages including quality of service, greater cost efficiency, and flexibility. Despite this, Hosted PBX services still offer users tremendous features; however, they ultimately are not as inclusive as the SIP Trunking service.
Vicicomm offers a wide range of phones from Cisco and Polycom. You can order these phones through Vicicomm and they will be shipped to you pre-configured for each Hosted PBX user on your account. Vicicomm also supports other Cisco and Polycom IP deskphones as well as a range of softphones that can be used on PCs and smartphones. In general, any IP phone, softphone or application that support SIP protocol may be used, however we cannot guarantee they will work with Hosted PBX.
Generally, a Hosted PBX VoIP call will use 20Kbps of bandwidth for the duration of a single call. If you were to add Hosted PBX for five users, and everyone was on the phone at the same time, it would require approx. 450 kbps of bandwidth during the calls (adding overheads for signaling protocols etc. Your exact needs will depend on the call volume and call patterns at your company as well the type of IP phones you are using.
You can use your existing Internet connection for Hosted PBX as long as the connection is dedicated (not dial-up) and you feel you have adequate upstream and downstream bandwidth for the number of users you are adding. We highly recommend Internet service from cable companies who offer cheaper Internet services.