Getting a new PBX (Private Branch eXhange) for your company will be a major expense. First, a PBX is a company's private phone system that allows internal phones to call each other on the inside network (extension dialing) and handles incoming and outgoing lines that connect through the public telephone network (including possibly VoIP trunks). Business phone systems are not only necessary, but are a fundamental piece of equipment that keeps a thriving business successful. Without the proper communication system in place a company will not be able to carry on their day to day activities, and in the event that they try to skimp on this most important piece of technology, will only be sending a signal to their customers that they are not a first class company.
For small to mid-size companies the best way to estimate the price of a new PBX phone system is to use a "per-seat" number. Per-seat refers to the number of phones (extensions) or in most cases the number of employees. As companies become larger the cost per seat decreases, so a new PBX for a 300 seat company versus a 30 seat company will be significantly less. With this in mind a good round number to base a historical cost on would be $700.00 to $1,000.00 per seat. Now Asterisk based systems that use the open source PBX software and not proprietary software or hardware will come in on the low side of these figures and could easily get well below the $700.00 number and even below the $4-500 number.
Smaller PBX phone systems, such as a 20 seat company could very well get a new phone system in the $500.00 per-seat range, especially for a new IP-PBX system. An Asterisk based system which typically can give more features and a lower overall cost later when expanding the system, will most likely to get down into this range. That would end up being a $10,000 cost that would need to be budgeted for.
Phones or handsets make up a significant cost for a new phone system. Proprietary phones that match a particular manufacturer's PBX each have a cost of between a general range of $125.00 to $350.00 or even more. IP phones can range between $100.00 to $400.00, depending on the make and model, however very good IP desk phones can be found in the $75.00/phone range, especially getting PoE phones which run about $15-20.00 less per phone for the same model.
Update: The Grandstream GXP1760IP phone is a midrange phone that can be bought new less than $100.00. Actually, closer to $75.00 per phone and this is for a phone that was just awarded the 2017 Product of the Year. Match these phones with Grandstream's UCM Asterisk appliance and you could be looking at a hardware cost per seat for a very small office of $100./seat. That's an exceptionally low price, but only for those that are capable of completing installation, configuration and on going management themselves.
To better understand these estimated ranges for a new PBX, you should understand that they are based on an installation of new phones, lightning protection, a UPS battery back-up, a PBX with attendant and all the voicemail features that are part of the system, complete set-up and connecting each phone (extension) to the PBX, plus connecting the outside lines to the system. The entire package will be set up with recordings for the attendant, options for callers to which extensions that they would be routed to and time conditions for callers after hours or otherwise. Essentially, a phone system all setup and ready for daily business. These estimates would not include cabling, which in most cases should already be in place. Running and terminating a cable can typically cost about $160.00 to $190.00 per cable.
Asterisk, the open source PBX software, sitting on open source Linux has offered manufacturers one of the most dependable, feature rich PBX applications available. This has led to large reductions in cost to the consumer. It's a whole new environment for the PBX market and Asterisk based systems are leading. See what the actual costs are for three top rated Asterisk IP-PBX business phones systems.
If you are wondering why a business needs a PBX, then here are some of the benefits to keep your phone system in your own premise: Top Benefits for an In-House PBX
Or perhaps your company has less than 25 employees or your a new small office then a cloud based solution could give you advantages: Hosted VoIP or Premise Based IP-PBX