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How Much Does an IP-PBX Cost?

How much does an IP PBX cost?

The state of your business communication determines how customers interact with your business. Therefore, it is important to find the right PBX provider to improve connectivity and reliability. With countless PBX systems and providers out there, it is crucial to understand the factors influencing your IP-PBX cost and how to determine what type of PBX system your business needs.

Getting IP-PBX for Your Business

In this article, we will review:

  • IP-PBX features
  • Factors contributing to cloud PBX pricing
  • Different types of IP-PBX systems, and
  • IP-PBX cost breakdown.

IP-PBX Features

While providers offer different PBX features and services, most will offer a basic suite of features along with their IP-PBX service. When looking for a new provider, it helps to determine beforehand what features and tools your teams need to do their jobs well. The top IP-PBX features include:

  • On-premise / Cloud PBX system
  • Inbound and outbound voice calling
  • Local, toll-free, international phone numbers
  • VoIP functionality
  • Advanced IVR / Auto-attendant
  • Voicemail, email, fax
  • Call reporting and records

Factors Contributing to IP-PBX Cost

Let’s dive into the top factors influencing your cloud PBX pricing:

  1. Type of PBX system: on-premise or cloud PBX system
  2. Open-source PBX
  3. Hardware and equipment costs, if applicable
  4. Installation and maintenance costs, if applicable
  5. VoIP phone service cost
  6. Training and onboarding

1. On-Premise vs Cloud PBX System

Your IP-PBX cost is largely based on the type of IP-PBX system you want: on-premise or cloud-based.

An on-premise PBX system is built, hosted, and maintained on-premise (in-office) by your IT team. You can use open-source PBX (more on this below), a free software, to build your on-premise system. Then, bring in the necessary hardware, talent (IT professionals), and a business VoIP solution to make the PBX system functional. This means that your business pays upfront for equipment and installation but is wholly responsible for maintaining and updating it, which can prove costly in the long run.

On the other hand, hosted PBX is a PBX system located in the cloud instead of a typical hardware PBX system. In this case, the system is hosted, maintained, and updated by your provider, typically an off-site data center. You pay a monthly fee to use the system via a public or private Internet connection, and you are only responsible for desk phones and a VoIP service connected to your cloud PBX system.

Here’s an IP-PBX cost breakdown for on-premise and cloud PBX systems:

On-Premise PBX Pricing Breakdown Cloud PBX Pricing Breakdown
PBX license No license required
PBX equipment and hardware (appliances, PBX servers, interface cards, and phones) Hardware and equipment (desk phones and/or softphones)
Installation and maintenance fees Little to no installation and maintenance fees
In-house IT team required In-house IT team not required
Little training and onboarding Little training and onboarding
VoIP / PBX service (monthly fee) VoIP / PBX service (monthly fee)

The cost of an on-premises IP-PBX versus cloud-hosted.

2. Open-Source PBX

Your business may choose to use open source PBX to save on PBX system costs. Open-source PBX is a phone system available to the public for free under a General Public License (GNU). This type of PBX is made up of a Linux operating system and PBX software. As such, you can use this software to convert a computer or laptop into a business phone system.

You can run open-source PBX software online or on-site. The software is customizable and easy to download. You only need hardware (computers and phones) and a VoIP service to complete it. Open-source PBX software comes equipped with typical PBX features like voicemail, IVR / ACD, advanced call routing, and more.

Even though open source PBX is free, you will need a team of administrators and developers with a strong programming and telecom background to customize it for your business communication needs. They also need to understand the fundamentals of VoIP and legacy telephony.

So the costs of operating PBX with an open-source PBX software include:

  • Hardware and installation costs
  • VoIP service
  • Skilled talent
  • Training and onboarding

3. Hardware and Equipment Costs

Here’s a breakdown of hardware and equipment costs associated with a PBX system:

  • On-premise PBX equipment — $5,000-10,000
  • PBX license — $3000
  • Computers — $300-3,000
  • Hard drive space — VoIP servers run 80 GB to 160 GB SATA HDs.
  • Phones:
    • IP phones and handsets — $100-400 per phone
    • Softphones (usually come with VoIP service) — $10-30/month of service

You will pay for all of this with an on-premise system. However, for a hosted PBX system, you will only pay for the phones, installation, and VoIP service (prices below).

4. Installation and Maintenance Costs

Here’s the general price range for PBX system installation and maintenance:

  • On-premise PBX installation, recurring licensing, maintenance, and upgrades — $12,000
  • Cloud PBX — $0-1000

5. VoIP Phone Service Cost

For a PBX system to work effectively, you need to pair it with a phone service. Here’s a breakdown of costs factored in hosted PBX services:

  • LAN — $1,000
  • Hosted VoIP phone service — $10-500/user/month
  • SIP trunking service — $35-100/user/month

6. Training and Onboarding

This varies based on the type of system you get; some are easier to use than others. Based on the complexity of your system, you may or may not need additional training and onboarding.

How Much Does an IP-PBX Cost?

The best way to estimate the price of an IP-PBX system is to calculate on a “per-seat” basis, where “per-seat” is the number of phones or extensions needed. The larger the company, the lower the cost per seat. So, a PBX system for a 400 seat business will be much less than a 60 seat business.

Historically, IP-PBX costs range from $500-1,000 per seat. This range depends on the type of PBX system you use: on-premise, cloud, or open-source.

Hosted PBX costs range from $10-100 per user per month, depending on the services and geographies.

*Note: Costs mentioned in this article are current at the time of publishing and may be subject to changes.

Global Call Forwarding: IP-PBX Cost

Global Call Forwarding offers VoIP and international SIP trunking. You can easily plug our service into your existing PBX system (3CX, Cisco, etc.) or combine it with your open-source PBX set-up (Asterisk, FreePBX, etc). This means that you don’t usually have to pay for equipment (computers or phones) since your business might already have those in place, and you will only pay for the phone service. For instance, you can easily plug SIP trunks into an existing PBX system.

Your IP-PBX cost with Global Call Forwarding:

  • PBX system:
    • Free open source PBX — $0
    • Existing on-premise PBX (no extra equipment needed) — $0-100
  • Monthly phone service (VoIP or SIP trunking):
    • Global Call Forwarding VoIP service — starts at $7.95/month
    • Global Call Forwarding SIP trunking service — starts at $32.95/month
  • Phones
    • Existing desk phones — $0-400
    • GCF softphone (can be used on computers, laptops) comes with our Outbound Calling service — starts at $25/month
    • Installation and setup fees — $0

Get IP-PBX from Global Call Forwarding

Want to learn more about cloud PBX solutions offered by Global Call Forwarding? Chat with our experts online or call us at +1 (561) 908-6171. We’d love to help you find the right business communication solution to improve caller experience and productivity.

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