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What are the Different Types of Business Telephone Systems?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated May 16, 2024
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Business telephone systems allow business owners and their employees to have the ability to communicate within the organization and handle calls that are placed to the business. Many different business telephone systems are available. The main types are private branch exchange (PBX), key system unit (KSU), keyless system unit (KSU-less), voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), and cell phones.

PBX systems are usually used by large organizations, typically with 40 or more employees. The systems are popular with larger businesses because the systems can be expanded to allow for future business growth and generally offer the most features available in business telephone systems. Some of the features common with most PBX systems are having one phone number that external users dial to reach various extensions throughout the company, automatic and even call distribution, automated call answering, and customized business greetings.

A key feature of the KSU telephone system is that users can manually control and direct incoming phone calls. KSU systems are usually less expensive than PBX systems and can handle fewer connections, which makes them a more popular choice for medium-sized businesses. They are designed for companies with 10 to 40 employees. KSU systems can allow for interoffice dialing, prevent users from picking up lines that are already in use, and offer other standard telephone features.

KSU-less systems are typically designed for companies with ten or fewer employees. Each individual phone set houses the features of a KSU-less system, as opposed to having a central unit that controls all features. Offering a smaller initial investment, these phone systems usually offer basic phone features a small business would need. The systems generally do not offer many advanced features found in other business telephone systems.

The same benefits of a traditional PBX system without the hardware and software costs associated with traditional PBX systems can be achieved by using a VoIP system. Many people feel VoIP systems are superior to traditional business telephone systems in quality. The systems enable far more users to benefit from the features of a traditional PBX system without the cost.

Cell phones allow users to use wireless communication while in many different locations. Many businesses are utilizing this technology because it allows them to conduct business while traveling, at home, or out of the office. Several cell phone models have the ability to connect to the Internet. This function allows the user to check stocks, e-mail, weather, flight schedules, and many other features a business person may find useful.

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Discussion Comments
By icetears — On Nov 17, 2012

These systems area units are very cheap and ideal for businesses with ten or fewer staff. The drawback of keyless systems is that they can't grow with a business telephone systems business and don't seem to be upgradeable.

These little business phone systems permit a worker to choose a line when another worker is on a call. All technology is constructed into the phones, making them very simple for transport, if an organization relocates.

By anon295696 — On Oct 07, 2012

I found the article interesting and I would like to add my note here. We (my company) are using a PBX

business phone system that is very efficient and its features gave us a wonderful communication experience. It is unbelievable how easy it is to use and set up. We do not need a lot of effort to even maintain it.

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