PBX stands for private branch exchange, which refers to phone systems that companies use to manage the phone lines of entities with many users. A PBX might manage a half dozen phones at a small business or a thousand phones at a catalog phone center. PBX has come a long way: from manually operated switchboards to present-day systems managed by computers. New technology integrates the Internet for managing users and calls as well as allowing other devices, such as internet-protocol-capable cell phones, to access the PBX system.
Traditional PBX uses a "Phone Box" that connect several phones through phone lines running through it. The "Phone Box" in turn is connected to a cable that runs outside the company's network and links it to the telephone service provider. The earliest traditional PBXs were manually operated through a switchboard.
Hybrid PBX systems support both the traditional model and VoIP or voice-over-Internet-protocol phones. VoIP enables users to place calls using the Internet, which serves as a cost-effective solution for companies that place lots of international calls.This works well for companies that already have traditional PBX systems in place but would like to take advantage of new technology available.
IP PBX, or Internet protocol PBX, uses the Internet to place calls. Since it uses the data network to connect calls from multiple users, it can be deployed using a single line -- it requires less maintenance and allows for easy expansion. As VoIP is becoming popular, more and more companies are seeking to implement an IP PBX system.
SIP PBX a variant of the IP PBX; it uses the Session Initiation Protocol. This is the newest in PBX technology; it allows clients to use nonproprietary telephones. Other devices such as PDAs, laptops and cellphones can connect to the system, provided they are SIP-capable.
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