Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where to Find Commercial Telephone Systems

Have you outgrown the phones you can buy at the office supply store? The low cost models with multiple wireless handsets and built-in answering machines are perfect for home offices and very small stores. But for larger businesses you need something designed for commercial operation.

Commercial phone systems are built to take the beating of day-in, day-out business use. They also have additional capabilities for handling multiple lines and extensions. There are two types of business telephone systems. They are the key systems and the PBX systems. The difference lies in the way they handle multiple lines and extensions.

The key systems are named for the keys or push buttons that control everything on the phone. All phones have push buttons for dialing phone calls, called the key pad. But key telephones have additional buttons for selecting outside phone lines. A typical key phone may have access to four or more telephone lines. You can tell if a line is in use because it lights up or has an LED indicator lit next to it. To dial an outside line, you select an unlit line and lift the receiver. You now control that phone line. Others can conference-in by selecting the same line on their handset. A flashing line is one that is on hold.

The PBX or Private Branch Exchange operates like a small telephone office within the company. Multiple outside lines are managed by the PBX system. To call out of the building, you typically dial 9 and get a dial tone if a line is available. You have no idea which line was selected, but it really doesn't matter. Once you have that outside line dial tone, you call the party you have in mind and carry on your conversation. For internal calls, you dial 3 or 4 digits depending on the size of the system. PBX systems often use T1 trunks that provide up to 23 or 24 outside lines on a single digital connection.

Legacy PBX systems are based on the model of individual handsets connected to the PBX system located in the telecom room by dedicated telephone networking cable. When the phone is moved, the system needs a programming update to tell it which pair of wires the phone is now using.

Newer IP PBX systems use IP or Internet Protocol, the same standard as computer networks. An advantage is that telephone handsets and PCs can use the same network wiring instead of separate networks. IP phones have a network address built-in, so that the system can find them no matter which port they are plugged into.

The commercial telephone system field is large and highly competitive. The equipment, wiring, installation and service are provided by business telephone dealers who are VARs or Value Added Resellers for the manufacturers. You can search them out in the phone book, but an easier solution is to use an online service like the T1 VAR Network to invite interested dealers to bid for your business. This is a no cost, no obligation service that quickly and efficiently matches businesses needing commercial telephone systems with nearby dealers who specialize in this field.

If you are happy with your physical plant but are curious about current deals on voice and data line services, check competitive T1 line prices at T1 Rex now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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