Guide to Buying a PBX System


Buying a PABX Telephone System

The purchase of a modern PABX / PBX or Switchboard solution represents an important process for any modern business. The incoming voice solution for any business is often the first impression a customer or supplier has of that organisation and it is critical that it is a favourable one.

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When preparing to review the purchase or rental of a PABX Switchboard System, it is important to understand that a PABX / PBX telephone solution has many varied components and multiple set up options therefore proper planning is essential when preparing to change, move or update your PABX / PBX solution in order to avoid disruptions and downtime. Below we provide useful information to assist you when considering buying or hiring a PABX Switchboard System.

3 Critical Questions to Ask When Beginning the PABX Buying Process:

  1. How many users must the system accommodate? i.e. How many people will need a telephone device/handset/Smartphone PABX App or have access to one?
  2. Do you have existing cabling at your location or will your site require new telephone cabling?
  3. Does the site have existing connectivity i.e. Existing landline or VoIP infrastructure or telephone lines already in place or will you require new connectivity with your solution? If so, how many lines does your business require? i.e 4 concurrent telephone lines.

Once you have answered these basic questions internally, you can then begin to refine the switchboard solution down to more exact needs and features required by your business or organization including, but not limited to:

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Which PABX / PBX Switchboard System Brand Should I Buy?

This is a personal preference and our consultants can guide you on which PABX telephony hardware provider best suits your needs and budget. Ultimately, all PBX brands offer very similar general features, but once we understand exactly what your organisation’s needs are, we can advise on which PBX switchboard brand is right for you and your organisation’s telephony needs. Browse some of the range below:

Hosted Telephone System

Panasonic Telephone Systems

Samsung Telephone Systems

NEC Telephone Systems

Buying Outright vs Renting/Leasing/Hiring your PABX Switchboard Phone Systems

Again, this decision comes down to the circumstances and the stage that your business may be at, at the time of purchase. PBX Switchboard systems in stable companies not expecting large amounts of staff growth or change, can typically be purchased or bought outright. In cases where the system is purchased outright, the business would then accept that updates and changes in technology or the size of the system will incur further capital outlays as opposed to making changes when renting the system, which can be done with a simple adjustment to the monthly rental cost.

Renting a PABX system offers a number of advantages including the ability to add changes to the size and capabilities as a business’s telecommunications requirements change in the future, essentially allowing greater flexibility. Rentals also allow for the system to be upgraded regularly as they age and the technology dates, ensuring the company always has access to working, modern telephony systems.

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IP vs Analog PABX / PBX Phone Systems

Traditional analogue PABX / PBX solutions work perfectly well for standard installations where additional add-on functionality and feautres are not required. Analogue telephone systems perform well in almost all standard environments and most end users will be unaware as to whether they are using an analogue or IP-based PABX solution. Therefore, where cost and simple functionality are the key considerations, we recommended an analogue solution.

The alternative is an IP PABX solution, these run via existing or new IP CAT 5 or CAT 6 “computer” cabling. The advantages and disadvantages of an IP PBX based system include:

IP PABX / PBX Advantages

  • Extension numbers can be programmed remotely and extension numbers follow users even when moving around the building or organisation via the IP address of their IP phones
  • Easy remote maintenance and programming, maximum uptime
  • No need to re-cable the building if existing computer network can be used, great for time and cost savings
  • More sophisticated integration features with unified PBX communications solutions allowing remote branch setup, integration with hosted video conferencing and more
  • Seamless integration of transferring calls for businesses with multiple sites or branches.

IP PABX / PBX Disadvantages

  • Cost is higher than that of an analogue PABX solution
  • VLAN switching equipment may need to be purchased depending on site requirements

PABX Lines: Traditional Phone Lines vs VoIP Lines

With the advent of VoIP, hundreds of PABX / PBX voice options have appeared for businesses to choose from. This is one of the most critical decisions to be made in the purchasing decision process, as no matter how good the PABX hardware solution you buy, if the voice connectivity feeding that hardware is poor, the general user and customer experience will be bad.

Typically, VoIP lines are cheaper on usage and allow for free or low cost interbranch calling, but beware, below a certain usage the cost of hiring VoIP PBX switchboard infrastructure may outweigh the savings on lower call usage.

United Telecom’s expert sales consultants can assess your location, needs and budget to assist in supplying first, the most cost effective and stable solution for your organisation’s requirements and secondly, one which meets the features and requirements of your business.

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Which Type of Switchboard Phones & Handsets Should I Choose?

Almost all modern PABX / PBX phone system solutions can have a wide variety of corded and cordless handsets. It’s important when chatting to your consultant to discuss who needs what type of phone and why? This process will uncover where there is potential for cost savings, you may even be able to reuse some of your existing handsets. In cases where executives require a more advanced features handset or where aesthetics is a key concern, we provide up range phone handset models to cater for any office aesthetic, finally conference phones are often required for boardrooms or locations where multiple participants may wish to partake in a telephone call or meeting.

Types of PABX / PBX phone handsets include:

  • Simple analogue phone handsets
  • Digital handset phones with caller line identification
  • IP Phones/handsets
  • Receptionist phones
  • Cordless phones
  • Conference phones
  • DECT cordless handsets for large roaming areas
  • And much more

Moving Your PABX / PBX System

A large component of the cost of a PABX solution is the infrastructure, cabling and labour required to get the PBX solution in place within an organisation. Often, connectivity suppliers require significant lead times to have voice solutions installed and as such proper planning is required. Don’t leave this too late!

Before embarking on a change of your unified communications telephone system, make sure that you have consulted with your account manager around all potential snags and delays. These could include: PBX connectivity availability i.e is there the ability to access VoIP or GSM services nearby, number porting, cabling, access to new buildings, user setups and more, amongst an array of other issues to be considered when preparing for a new PABX telephone solution or a system relocation.

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United Telecom’s Services: What Can We Help You With?

United Telecom’s assists with the full spectrum of commercial telecommunications requirements from small business PABX / PBX systems to corporate unified communications rollouts, our services include:

  • PABX / PBX relocations and installations and reinstallations
  • PABX / PBX maintenance and service contracts. Monthly/Quarterly/Annually
  • PABX / PBX Switchboard Cabling
  • PABX / PBX Switchboard Consulting
  • PBX / PABX Hardware and software solutions
  • PBX Call Centre solutions: Hosted and On-Premise
  • VoIP Packages
  • Unified communication solutions
  • Video conferencing
  • Connectivity including voice (VoIP) and data
  • Number porting
  • Wireless LAN setups
  • Fixed – Mobile convergence

Got questions? Contact our experts today.


We service the following locations across London and the United Kingdom

Greater London: City of London, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Islington, Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, Bexley, Kingston upon Thames, Brent, Lambeth, Bromley, Lewisham, Camden, Merton Croydon, Newham, Ealing, Redbridge, Enfield, Richmond upon Thames, Greenwich, Southwark, Hackney, Sutton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Harrow, Wandsworth, Havering, Westminster and Hillingdon.

What Our Customers Say

“Once we approved the installations we were kept up to date daily with the levels of progress on our various sites and were very impressed with the final installation”

Spear Properties


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London Office

2 Osborne Way
KT19 8GR
United Kingdom (UK)

Tel: 033 1630 0516
Tel: 020 3399 8011


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