IP PaBx and VoIP
I was in a meeting with one of my prospect client, he asked me a question that “Is there really any difference between IP PaBX and VoIP?” Though it wasn’t a new question to me because I have seen a lot of people getting confused by these two technical terms and it comes as no surprise that some clarity on the matter is required. These two terms are used interchangeable in most cases, but technically speaking, they are not quite the same thing.
VoIP, Voice over the Internet Protocol refers to the technology and standards established to allow for telecommunications to be made over a data network; but more recently that definition has been extended to encompass the service which is intended to replace the legacy telephone service. IP PaBX, which stands for Internet Protocol Private automatic Branch Exchange, is a telephone system within an enterprise that switches calls between enterprise users on local lines while allowing all users to share a certain number of external phone lines, utilizing the data network (the IP part).
With a conventional PBX / PaBX, separate networks are necessary for voice and data communications. One of the main advantages of an IP PaBX is the fact that it employs converged data and voice networks. This means that Internet access, as well as VoIP communications and traditional telephone communications, are all possible using a single line to each user. This provides flexibility as an enterprise grows, and can also reduce long-term operation and maintenance costs. Like a traditional PBX, an IP PBX is owned by the enterprise.
So as you can see, the two are related but different. The link can be better qualified by thinking of the relationship when provided by a hosting company offering the IP PBX service on the basis that you also take their VoIP service as well either completely or in tandem with TDM (time-division multiplexing). Given the greater flexibility that is allowed with VoIP in that it can be utilized to deploy virtual software services across mobile, desk phone, PC and other communication devices and is ideal for smaller companies where IT expertise or capital is limited, a hosted solution may be the ideal way to transition from legacy telephony to VoIP.