What is a Hybrid PBX Phone System
A hybrid PBX combines existing legacy PBX equipment with VoIP. A PBX
connects internal users to the outside world with a PRI or BRI, which
has 24 channels. There are often many PRIs to connect hundreds of
phones. In a hybrid PBX, these PRIs connect to a device—this is the
Hybrid PBX itself—and the two devices connect to the outside world via
both PSTN trunks and SIP credentials. The hybrid PBX also has many IP
extensions to connect directly to IP phones in the office. On one side
of the device, there are number of Ethernet and telephone jacks; on the
other, there is usually a WAN (to the internet), a LAN (to the internal
network), a console port, and LED lights to indicate which lines are
active. Asterisk, and its many derivatives, is the most popular method
of deploying hybrid PBX.
A hybrid PBX has many of the same great features you can expect from
VoIP services, including call rules, auto-attendant, and hold queues.
The hybrid PBX also has the capacity for virtual conference rooms, fax
over IP, and videoconferences. The hybrid PBX also can do SIP trunking.
The most important feature of the hybrid PBX is that if either the
legacy PBX or the VoIP server isn’t working, it automatically switches
over to the other network.
One of the biggest benefits to having a hybrid PBX is for remote offices
and secondary locations. Calls from one office to the other go through
the hybrid PBX, so there are no long-distance charges. If a location is
temporary, such as an amusement park or construction site, you can use
cordless phones to connect directly to the hybrid PBX instead of going
through the building’s telephone lines.
One of the biggest benefits to having a hybrid PBX can also be its
biggest drawback: cost. You have to buy and maintain an on-premise
device. The largest hybrid PBXs are well over a thousand dollars. But,
you can end up saving money in the long term by owning your own
equipment, rather than having a third party host your PBX.
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