Meaning and Definition of PABX

Meaning and Definition of PABX

Meaning and definition: Private Automatic BrancheXchange (PABX) is a telecommunications system that originated from the old Private Branch eXchange (PBX) that required huge equipment and a switchboard. PABX was developed in order to automate the functions of the PBX that required a manual operator. The resulting system was more compact and efficient; it also included many new features that revolutionized the communication industry. The system is now able to fit into a slot in the server rack.Most of the companies and manufacturers adopted this new system. Due to this advent, all PBX systems are now automated and the two terms are used interchangeably.

PABX automatically routes and manages inbound calls to an automated interactive attendant or the appropriate department. It also facilitates outbound calls from common trunk lines. Most systems also include features such as call conferencing and cost management. Some of the features and functions that are available are:

  • Call screening
  • Conference rooms
  • Directory dialing
  • Voicemail broadcast grouping
  • Direct inward dialing
  • Call queuing
  • Live monitoring
  • NIS routing
  • VoIP ready

Keep in mind however, that some features and functions require an additional license or software/hardware in order to be enabled.

As of today, there are four types of PABX systems existing. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages to offer. One should properly analyze the needs and limitations of their establishment to be able to select the appropriate system. The existing types are:

  • On-site

The equipment is housed inside the company premises. This set-up requires a much larger investment but is paid off by advanced features and highly customizable functions. This is also more secure since information is stored within the company.

  • Hosted

This is different from an on-site system such that the equipment is owned and housed by the telephone service provider. This set-up requires much less capital investment however, the features are limited to basic functions and there isn’t much room for personal customization.

  • IP-PBX

This is similar to the standard on-site set-up but additional VoIP equipment and features are added. The telecom system is integrated with the network equipment. This means that instead of operating from the traditional PSTN/Digital phone lines, the data is now channeled through the internet. This opens the door to many new features such as mobile and remote branch call/video conferencing, and many more functions that were not possible with traditional phone lines. As an added benefit, the communication bills are much cheaper due to the reduced cost of calls via internet.

  • Virtual or Cloud PBX

The latest addition to the PBX family; it eliminates the need for numerous telecom equipment. Instead of using dedicated hardware to be able to communicate, a software application and a subscription from a service provider is used instead. This saves a lot of space and money. It is very easy to transfer locations as well, only an internet connection is needed and a device that can run the software. This can be a laptop, a tablet, or a desktop. The drawbacks however, is that constant internet connection is required and that there may be a security risk since all the business call data is stored in the cloud.

Neil Rule

Neil Rule

Technical Director at Above Infranet Soltions Inc.
An IT systems integration consultant and network infrastructure adviser in the Philippines.
Neil Rule
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