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Traditional Phone Systems (PBX) vs. VoIP: Advantages & Disadvantages May 22, 2018

Garment District, Manhattan
Traditional Phone Systems (PBX) vs. VoIP: Advantages & Disadvantages, Manhattan, New York

VoIPPhone systems are an integral part of your business, so it is essential that you invest in one that will support your business needs. As you evaluate phone systems, you have two options to choose from: PBX or VoIP. Below, Arena One in New York City offers some advice on the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you make a decision.

Traditional Phone Systems

A PBX (private branch exchange) phone system consists of physical devices to operate. The system requires a centralized box that serves as the main hub with telephones connected to it with wires.


Traditional phones systems operate similarly to the system that’s being replaced, so the learning curve, from a user perspective, is easier.  Premise-based systems are more easily customizable. 


These phones are not nimble enough for today’s fast-moving business environments. The infrastructure is expensive and difficult to manage.  Some say the cost of ownership is less over a period of 5–10 years. This theory can be easily disproven. If you consider the cost of a premise-based PBX, change orders, maintenance, and carrier costs, you will see the cost of ownership is similar. Then add in the additional unplanned expenses, such as broken phone replacement, time, and material repairs.

Lastly, choosing a premise-based system is a 10-year decision.   

VoIP Phones Systems


With a hosted VoIP system, all infrastructure is located in the cloud, typically at several geographically redundant locations. As a result, your service provider manages all features of the system. With a decentralized VoIP system, power outages, fiber cuts, and natural disasters will not impact your communications. Also, unlike a traditional system, the hosted VoIP provider is both your services provider and equipment provider. Gone are the days of signing a contract with a phone vendor such as Avaya® and a services provider such as Verizon®.   

This technology also supports telecommuting employees and can route calls to desktop phones, mobile phones, computers, laptops, or other mobile devices by the click of a button on a web portal. Feature upgrades with a VoIP system are handled by the service provider so that you won't need to train an employee to manage the system.


It’s the difference between buying a car and running it for 100,000 miles or leasing a car for three years.

There are advantages and disadvantages to PBX and VoIP systems that need to be weighed when investing in a telecommunications system. Evaluating each can help you select the best one suited for your business. If you are looking for help with your telecommunication needs, turn to Arena One. They offer cloud communications and manage services for VoIP systems and hosted PBX systems. Call them today at  (212) 231-9600. You can also visit them online for more information.

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