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PBX vs PABX: Major Differences Explained

PBX vs PABX: Major Differences Explained

Organizations should create a framework that functions harmoniously in their favor, supporting their operations rather than hindering them. Efficient and transparent communication enables employees to act quickly and proficiently, propelling sales and enhancing customer service. 

When a company plans to implement a PABX system, it should opt for a cost-effective solution that maintains the current business operations and workflows. Nevertheless, prior to finalizing any choices, it’s essential to delve deeper and comprehend the fundamental differences among different systems, along with the specific attributes they offer. 

What is PABX?   

A PABX, which stands for “Private Automatic Branch Exchange”, furnishes your company with a dedicated internal telephone system. Instead of linking numerous landlines to the public phone network, it allows for the creation of extensions under a single phone number. This system manages tasks such as call connections and switches within the company.  

The letter “A” in PABX signifies the automation of the switching processes necessary for establishing phone calls. In contrast, conventional PBX systems rely on human switchboard operators to facilitate connections between telephone users. 

Every device connected to the PABX system is assigned a unique extension number. Devices like computer modems, fax machines, and desk phones fall into this category. PABX proves to be more cost-effective compared to utilizing multiple landlines that are linked to the public network. 

PABX Communication 

The PABX system comprises diverse elements, encompassing hardware responsible for establishing the network, computers for data processing, lines that facilitate PABX connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and endpoints encompassing fax machines, phones, and terminals. When combined, these components form a comprehensive PABX communication network. 

In contemporary times, PABX communication predominantly employs VoIP (Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol) technology. This method receives and transmits analog signals, subsequently converting them into digital signals. Subsequent PABX functions are then managed by the computer. 

How Does a PABX System Work? 

A Private Automatic Branch Exchange, known as PABX, operates using dedicated hardware and software and functions similarly to a public switchboard. PABX telephony encompasses a range of devices such as telephones, routers, fax machines, modems, hubs, adapters, and switches.  

This system empowers businesses to manage their own internal telephone network complete with localized extension numbers, which directly link to specific phones and devices within the company’s facilities. 

By utilizing PABX, the complexity of internal telephony is reduced since in-house calls no longer require traversal across the local area network. Moreover, users can effortlessly establish corporate connections with a single button press. 

Currently, phone systems have the capability to respond to incoming calls through prerecorded messages, a functionality commonly referred to as Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This technology directs incoming calls based on designated codes or extensions and employs a public switch for outgoing calls. 

Major Differences Between PBX and PABX 

When comparing PABX and PBX, several distinctive factors set them apart. 

  • Although both PABX and PBX serve as Private Branch Exchanges, the significant contrast lies in their automation level, with PABX being automated, while PBX represents a more outdated iteration of PABX.  
  • The PBX system’s definition revolves around telephone systems that necessitate operators to link extension callers with other lines, once recognized as a high-end solution for business telephony. 
  • In contrast, PABX showcases a much higher level of sophistication than PBX and offers an array of advanced features.  
  • One of the notable distinctions is that PABX empowers users to directly place calls from their phones, eliminating the need for operator intervention seen in the PBX setup.  
  • Despite both PABX and PBX being switching methodologies, PABX can be acknowledged as an enhanced rendition of the conventional PBX system. 

Other Prominent Differences 

Analogous to a human-operated telephony setup, a PBX represents a conventional telephone framework managed by operators who utilize telephone switches. These operators physically manipulated wires to establish connections for calls, connecting two users through POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). These setups were also referred to as Private Manual Branch Exchanges (PMBX). 

Conversely, PABX systems employ technology to automate the switching procedure. Functioning as an internet-based telephony system, it can be hosted on the cloud. Devices situated on-site can be linked through SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking. Compared to the antiquated PBX, which is now scarcely utilized, PABX telephony offers the advantages of time, cost, labor, and convenience savings. 

What Are the Features of a PABX System? 

A PABX empowers businesses to leverage a greater number of phone units compared to their available physical telephone lines. Every telephone apparatus merely needs to be allocated an extension number. Moreover, users of the PABX can engage in cost-free internal phone conversations. The majority of PABX systems furnish both advanced and fundamental functionalities, which encompass: 

  • Automated Callback: Users can preset a call to a busy line and receive a return call once the line becomes available. 
  • Call Forwarding: Incoming calls are directed based on specified conditions. 
  • Call Answering: Staff can intercept and respond to incoming calls intended for others. 
  • Call Hold and Resume: Users can pause a conversation on one device and seamlessly continue it on another device. 
  • Call Waiting: Staff can hold their call when the line is occupied. 
  • Call Handoff: Agents can transfer an ongoing call to another colleague. 
  • Direct Dial-In: Users can directly call a desired number. 
  • Conference Calling: Enables audio teleconferencing for multi-party conversations. 
  • Quiet Mode: Blocks incoming calls during designated times when calls are not wanted. 
  • Voicemail Service: Callers can leave voice messages for recipients to retrieve and follow up on. 
  • Speed Dial: Provides the ability to quickly dial important numbers using shortcuts. 
  • Group Ringing: Users can simultaneously call multiple individuals when a specific call comes in. 

PBX Systems with VoIP 

When combined with VoIP, PBX surpasses conventional PBX solutions by enabling the integration of as many lines as required and facilitating multimedia interactions through network technology. An IP PBX/PABX system offers flexibility in its design approaches: 

  • One widely adopted approach is building from the foundation. Opting for a dedicated IP-based PBX system proves to be a more advanced and cost-effective choice. 
  • Alternatively, one can opt to upgrade or replace current traditional (landline phone) systems. This involves linking existing phone numbers and devices through a SIP trunk provider. 

Why Choose JustCall Phone System? 

JustCall stands as a premier cloud-based phone system, renowned for its top-tier status, and offering an extensive array of state-of-the-art, impactful functionalities. 


JustCall employs an annual fixed-rate pricing model for concurrent calls, devoid of concealed charges. This approach ensures affordability without compromising on feature availability. 

Ensured Company Data Security 

JustCall holds accreditation under EU information and security benchmarks. It guarantees the presence of secure data centers for communication and storage, safeguarding your company’s valuable information. 

Superior Call Quality 

JustCall boasts a network of centers spanning 7 geographic regions. This geographical coverage ensures rapid failover mechanisms, adept concurrency management, and blackout resistance, allowing seamless voicemail and messaging operations. 

What are the Benefits of Implementing Automation in Your PABX System? 

Modern business phone systems should consistently explore the potential of new automation features, offering several advantages

Cost Reduction: Various automated functionalities lead to decreased staffing needs. For instance, an automated attendant streamlines call answering and external caller routing, reducing staff time involvement. Additionally, IP-based phone systems simplify disaster recovery planning, making it more cost-effective. 

Enhanced Flexibility: A virtual PABX can be either on-site or cloud-hosted, enabling the selection of the most economical solution for your needs. 

Efficiency: Voicemail, for instance, can be forwarded as an audible email attachment. This minimizes time spent on email checks and lowers the risk of delayed message retrieval. 

Enhanced Customer Service: Research indicates that customers prefer the option to choose between self-serve automation and direct assistance. 

A PABX system offers organizations enhanced versatility and authority over their voice communication procedures. It serves as an excellent tool for internal collaboration, while also proving highly efficient for both incoming and outgoing external calls. Consequently, it presents a cost-efficient solution for enterprises seeking to establish a dependable and resilient communication infrastructure.