IP PBX / Intercom System

PBX: PBX also known as private branch exchange with various versions like private automatic branch exchange (PABX), electronic private automatic branch exchange (EPABX) is a small switch or telecom exchange owned as used by a private organization or corporate. It has many features like voice mail, strong and sophisticated connection with PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)

PBX has almost banished intercom from the market worldwide and intercom has become just a door phone now. Most probably, intercom scores over PBX on two counts, it is way cheaper and it can give video call type facility at much lower cost. But it is because it is a smaller system mainly. Here are few major differences between intercom and PBX

1. Number of lines
If PBX says, it has 512 lines, it means all 512 people can talk, while intercom may have 512 lines, but it will have 50 speech path which means, only 25 pair of people can talk to each other. If the 51st person lifts his handset, he would hear, this trunk busy! Most probably this is the major drawback of intercom.

2. PSTN connectivity
Due to its limited speech lines, intercom normally do not have any PSTN connectivity. Though now days, PSTN lines line be patched to it, but that is not a standard feature. One of the main utility of PBX system is sharing of PSTN lines for both incoming and outgoing calls along with communication within PABX extension lines. PBX also has intercom facility as one among its many advanced features.

3. Features
Demise of intercom can be attributed mainly its lack of features. It lacked many features that PBX offers. Modularity in PBX design where multiple PBX systems can be connected to facilitate communication between distant locations. PBX also offers many advanced features which allows it to adapt to changing new technologies.

4. Cost
Cost of intercom is much cheaper than PBX. But that cannot compensate the lack of features which PBX offers at higher cost.

5. Usage
PBX has usage in large corporations, enterprises for various applications like IVR), voicemail, audio conferencing etc. While usage of intercom is now almost confined to door phone.

So, intercom can be thought as obsolete technology now an its few features are available in all modern PABX systems. If one thinks of door phone, buy a intercom, if communication in a office, think of PBX.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) gateways can be combined with traditional PBX functionality enabling businesses to use their managed intranet to help reduce long distance expenses, enjoy the benefits of a single network for voice and data and advanced CTI features or be used on a pure IP system which in most cases give greater cost savings, greater mobility, and increased redundancy.

An IP-PBX can exist as a hardware object, or virtually, as a software system.

Intercom: An intercom (a short form of intercommunication) is a stand-alone electronic communications system used for limited or private conversation inside a home. Normally,  it is an well-known communication system between PA ( Personal assistant) and the officer. There are large intercoms available now a days as well as it can have connectivity with wireless, telephone as well as cellphone.

Intercom is also widely used as door phone which is used to communicate between a person inside home with anyone at the door without having to open the door. This is a typical use of intercom due to rising security concern in city areas.

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