How Much Does an Office Phone System Cost in 2024?

Feb 27, 2024 | Consumer Advice

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27 February 2024

Imagine it’s the busiest day of the year, and your phone system stops working unexpectedly. Customers can’t reach you, orders get missed, and stress levels are through the roof while you wait for your phone system’s third-party technician to arrive on-site – all while losing thousands of dollars in potential revenue and productivity.

This nightmare scenario is a reality for many businesses stuck with inadequate communications systems. But how much should you really be spending to avoid this?

Key Takeaway

When selecting an office phone system in 2024, businesses should carefully consider factors such as the type of system, number of users, features, and hardware requirements to ensure they invest in a solution that is cost-effective, scalable, and supports remote work. Hosted PBX systems, in particular, offer a flexible and affordable option for businesses of all sizes, enabling them to stay connected with customers and employees in an increasingly remote world.

Staying connected to customers is crucial for your business. In a world that’s increasingly remote, customers still want to know that they can pick up the phone for a chat.

Business phone systems are one of the most effective pieces of technology you can invest in. While costs vary widely, the base rate is highly affordable, and you’ll have the flexibility to add the features and hardware you need.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution with business phone systems. To help you figure out how much you should spend, we’re going to discuss some factors that affect the price of your phone system.

Cost Factors: Navigating Office Phone System Options in 2024

The total price of the service can vary widely depending on your requirements, but the per-person cost is typically very affordable. We cover the major factors affecting the cost of an office phone system in 2024 below, and some ways you can keep your expenses under control:

  1. Type of Phone System

The type of business phone system you select will have a big impact on your expenses. There are several major options available, but the three most popular phone systems are:

Hosted PBX — A Hosted Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system is a cloud-based solution. Hosted PBX systems allow you to make and receive calls through your existing internet connection. They’re suitable for businesses of every size. All you need is an internet-connected device that can receive calls. This can include desktop handsets, computers, smartphones and tablets. Hosted PBX Systems offer unparalleled features and rapid scalability at a fraction of the cost of a traditional Onsite PBX system. An example of a Hosted PBX system is Telair’s own uPBX Cloud PBX Phone System.

Benefits of Hosted PBX: 

Remote Work – Hosted PBX systems enable remote work by allowing employees to connect from anywhere with an internet connection. This can significantly reduce office space requirements and associated costs, leading to substantial savings on rent and utilities. 

Scalability – The scalability of Hosted PBX systems means businesses can easily add or remove users to match their current needs, ensuring they only pay for what they use. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for businesses with seasonal peaks or rapid growth, as it eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure investments.

SIP Trunking — Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a technology that’s used to make and receive phone calls over the internet. SIP Trunking is a type of phone system that uses SIP technology to connect your existing phone system to the internet. This is especially useful for large companies that have already invested in Onsite PBX systems. Business SIP Phone Systems are also popular with Telair customers because of their high definition quality, flexible scalability, automatic fail-over functionality, and full compatibility with a wide range of phone systems and SIP handsets.

Benefits of SIP Trunking:

With SIP Trunking, companies can achieve higher quality voice calls compared to traditional phone lines, enhancing customer communication experiences. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and retention, directly impacting the bottom line.

SIP Trunking significantly reduces expenses by merging voice and data communication onto one network, eliminating the necessity for distinct lines or mobile services. This approach allows businesses to streamline their communication infrastructure and cut down on costs associated with maintaining multiple networks. Businesses can also benefit from lower call charges, especially for international calls, further reducing operational costs.

Onsite PBX — Cloud-based PBX systems use hardware that’s located offsite and maintained by your third-party provider. That’s a cheap and efficient way to set up a PBX phone system. However, larger businesses may prefer an Onsite PBX system, where they keep the hardware on their business premises. Onsite PBX systems provide maximum flexibility, but they come with substantial setup, running and maintenance costs. These phone systems are best suited to large corporations with thousands of users and multiple locations.

Benefits of Onsite PBX:

Onsite PBX systems provide complete control over the communication infrastructure, offering businesses with specific regulatory or security requirements a tailored solution that cloud-based systems may not fully address.

Although they require a higher initial investment, Onsite PBX systems can be more cost-effective in the long run for large corporations. The ability to manage the system internally can lead to savings on monthly service fees and greater customisation to fit the unique needs of the business.

Generally speaking, hosted PBX systems have a lower service charge, and the low hardware requirements mean you’re less likely to encounter any long-term maintenance expenses. While SIP Trunking tends to cost more upfront, it may be more cost-effective if you are a large business with extensive phone hardware.

If neither of these options is suitable, you could also choose a virtual phone system, such as Microsoft Teams Phone.

  1. Number of Users

The next major factor in the price of your system is the number of users. Solutions such as Hosted PBX phone systems charge a monthly fee per user. For small businesses, this may start from as low as $25 per month, with the price increasing for larger enterprises.

When considering the number of users, you need to think in terms of the number of phones connected to the system, rather than the number of people in your office. 

For instance, small businesses rarely need every team member to be connected to the phone system. Instead, you could spend your money connecting a handful of users who can answer the phones and deal with customers, reducing your overall spend.

  1. Number of Business Locations

Adding extra users will increase the cost of your business phone system. Similarly, additional business locations will also increase your spend.

Large companies often operate in multiple locations. This creates an additional challenge when establishing and installing new phone systems, and it typically means that you’ll need to pay for more users.

The good news is that solutions like Hosted PBX (especially Telair’s uPBX) can service multiple business locations easily. These cloud-based services use your internet connection to route calls to individual users, so setup costs remain manageable. And with widespread adoption of nbn and affordable business fibre internet options, you don’t have to worry about degraded call quality.

  1. Included Features

Business phone systems are a highly flexible technology. While all systems come with basic features, such as the ability to make and receive calls, you can upgrade your plan with dozens of useful features and technologies.

Some additional features may increase the cost of your phone system plan. However, these additional features can help you cut costs in other ways.

For instance, Hosted PBX phones can route calls to computers and laptops using a softphone – such as Telair’s UCme Softphone. Softphones are an app that allows employees to speak to customers without requiring a dedicated handset. While it may cost more to add softphone support to your business phone plan, it saves you money on purchasing, installing and maintaining desktop handsets. Some service providers, such as Telair, may even bundle softphone licences at reduced rates.

Similarly, Hosted PBX phone systems often support things like instant messaging, video conferencing, analytics and more. These features reduce the need for third-party software. This simplifies your software stack and can reduce the amount you’re spending on communication platforms.

  1. Hardware and Phone Requirements

The major benefit of technologies like Hosted PBX is that they require little to no hardware. That can translate into significant savings when setting up a phone system for a large business.

However, some businesses still need hardware such as desktop handsets. While these devices are relatively affordable, purchasing and installing hundreds or thousands of phones can be a serious expense.

Some types of business phone systems may also require onsite hardware, such as switching devices. These are an additional expense that need to be factored into the total cost of your project.

  1. Installation and Setup Costs

The last thing to consider is the cost of installing and setting up your new phone system.

One of the biggest benefits of Hosted PBX phones is that they come with very low setup costs for small and medium businesses. Larger businesses, enterprises, and companies with multiple locations can still expect to encounter setup costs.

More complex phone solutions that require onsite hardware will cost more to install.

Get Connected with Business Phone Systems from Telair!

Phones are still the best way to keep in touch with customers, suppliers, coworkers and the outside world. There are several fantastic options available, and the choice between them often comes down to features and price.

If you are looking to set up or upgrade your business phone system, get in touch with Telair!

Telair is a Brisbane based service provider with offices around Australia, offering 100% Australian-based customer support. We offer business and enterprise phone solutions that include Hosted PBX, Business SIP, softphones, Microsoft Teams Phones and more.

Our goal is to ensure your business is always connected. We take a tailored approach to designing phone systems that are affordable, reliable, scalable, and full of the features your business needs.

Speak to Telair if you’re ready to get connected with the world around you!