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PBX vs. VoIP vs. UCaaS: Comparing Communication Systems

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personal-computer-motherboard-4316PBX, VoIP, UCaaS - it seems like the technology terms will never end, especially with regard to communication systems. If you have been searching for different UC options for your business, there is a good chance you have compared these three communication systems. 

Though they all relate to communication and business connectivity in the workplace, these three systems are different. What are the differences between PBX, VoIP, and UCaaS? Which communication system will be the better fit for your business or organization?


PBX stands for Public Branch Exchange, and this is the traditional analog phone system that businesses have been using for decades. A PBX system consists of direct line-to-line connections that are made by an exchange. A PBX system routes every call through a switchboard until the call reaches its intended destination.

Many businesses use PBX systems, and this allows more than one user to share a limited number of phone lines within a system that gives each user an extension. With a PBX system, your business can have more phones than phone lines.

A PBX system does not use extensions to redirect calls, but it uses lines. A PBX will connect every desk phone in a workplace on the same network. This system will allow everyone in the workplace to make internal calls at no cost and transfer calls with ease. 


VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and this system uses the internet to bundle voice signals into data packets that are transferred via the internet. VoIP phones will record your voice and transform it into data. 

Unlike a PBX phone system, voice signals under a VoIP system are transmitted through the selected network and then over the internet. VoIP phones will compress files as they come in and turn them into data packets.

The packets will travel to the VoIP provider, and they will be transformed and connected to the intended destination. We know this can sound like a slow-moving process, but the process is actually very quick. Today, VoIP providers have the ability to support a variety of advanced calling features. VoIP also offers a variety of benefits for any business, regardless of the size.


UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service) is a cloud-based services that centers on combining every business communication tool you have into one comprehensive platform. Unified Communications will allow your business to integrate voice, data, texts, and other communication channels with everything else your business is using. Unified Communication will make it easy for you to provide high-quality customer service at all times. 

Unified Communications as a Service(UCaaS) can be defined by two things: User Experience and As-a-Service. UcaaS is delivered through an agreement with a UC vendor, and the UC vendor will execute the necessary hardware and the UC platform. There are some businesses and organizations that will prefer to have an on-premise infrastructure. 

Your Choice

Is PBX, VoIP, or UCaaS the right choice for your business or organization? In the end, this decision will depend on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Your business
  • Your technology roadmap
  • Your communication needs

To explore the options your organization has within the UC space, please reach out to CallTower today to learn more!



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