Business Phone System Costs [PBX, VOIP,8×8 & More]
Business phone systems are now offering laundry lists of exciting features, including software and Internet compatibility, as well as virtual phone services, video conferencing, and more. Nowadays, you can find business phone systems that even sync up to the cloud and connect a company’s worth of remote workers in a virtual sphere.
On average, a business phone system will cost $1,250 per month. The cost of a VOIP phone system is $40 per user, per month. A KSU-less system costs $100 to $250 per phone, a 3CX Service will cost $300 per year, while a PBX system will cost on average $1450 per user.
Most business phone systems offer packages that you pay monthly and per user, although some do offer packages meant to include a small team, these prices vary vastly among different types of business phone systems, manufacturers, whether or not equipment is needed, and how many users you are getting set up.
In this guide, we will compare and contrast the costs of different types of business phone systems on the market.
By breaking down the costs of various phone plans and coverage offered for VoIP, 3CX, cloud phone systems, and more, we’ll see which plans offer the best average costs for businesses. Further, we’ll explore factors that can affect the cost of a business phone system, as well as the costs of physical hardware and when it is necessary.
VoIP Phone System Cost ($899)
VoIP phone systems – otherwise known as voice over Internet protocol phone systems – make use of broadband Internet connection for making phone calls. As opposed to other phone systems, you aren’t using an analog phone line. There are several types of VoIP phone systems, including computer-only systems as well as VoIP adapters for traditional phone lines.
Some VoIP services allow users to make long-distance calls, international calls, mobile calls, and local calls. On the other hand, some VoIP services only allow you to make in-service calls among other people who have the same service. Because of these discrepancies in services, you’ll find that there are also discrepancies in cost for the VoIP phone systems.
The average cost for a VoIP phone system, when comparing prices of different types of systems, is around $899, with the low end of costs just below $200 and the high end of costs just above $1500. Below, compare some of the average costs of VoIP phone systems, based on popular providers offering this business service on the market.
RingCentral VoIP Pricing ($43/user/month)
RingCentral offers a VoIP phone system to businesses that allow customers to make voice calls over IP via desktops, laptops, and smart devices. Some of the features that you can add to Ring Central’s VoIP service include:
- Team messaging
- Online meetings
- Call management features
You get free or nominal-fee long-distance calling, voicemail, and call forwarding, as long as you are connected to the Internet. RingCentral boasts of 24/7 customer support, minimal hardware necessary, and easy setup for businesses. Their prices come to an average of about $43.24 per month, or if you pay annually, you’re looking at an average of about $33.24 per month.
However, different plans are priced differently, and they are as follows.
|RingCentral Plan||Cost monthly||Cost by month if you pay annually|
|Essentials (message and phone)||$29.99||$19.99|
|Standard (message, video, and phone)||$37.99||$27.99|
|Premium (message, video, phone, open API)||$44.99||$34.99|
|Ultimate (message, video, phone, open API and more)||$59.99||$34.99|
You’ll notice that you can save more than 30% by paying for annual plans with RingCentral, which is a great bargain to take advantage of. Ring Central’s VoIP service is best for smaller-scale businesses, so while their service is affordable, it may not be the best deal for every business.
Grasshopper VoIP Pricing ($55/month)
Grasshopper is unique in that you won’t be buying a VoIP-specific phone system. They have a basic subscription model with three options, each of which includes VoIP and WiFi calling services.
Based on an average of their three plan prices, we found that it costs around $55/month on average to use their services, but you can save around 10% by purchasing an annual plan ($50/month).
They offer a solo plan set at $29/month (including 1 phone and 3 extensions), a partner plan at $49/month (3 phones and 6 extensions), and a small business plan at $89/month (5 phones and unlimited extensions. When purchasing annually, these plans are $26/month, $44/month, and $80/month, respectively.
3CX Phone System Cost ($250/year)
3CX phone systems are private branch phone systems based on a SIP standard. What sets them apart from other phone systems is that they are software-based, and you can use them to make VoIP calls (as described above) and public switched telephone network calls.
They work with Linux and Microsoft operating systems. Some of the other perks of 3CX PBX include easy backup and restoration, unlimited extensions, a digital receptionist, Microsoft 365 integration, and more.
3CX offers PBX phone systems that are designed for remote working, including on-premise and cloud services. They also offer services in live chat as well as video conferencing, including smartphone apps and extensions for unlimited users. One of the great perks of 3CX and a big reason why businesses love it is that you can get the first year of service for free.
Average Costs of 3CX Services
After that, however, you’ll be looking at an average price range of about $200-$300 per year. This cost is broken down into various components of service, as well as different packages. Their most expensive package is the Enterprise, while the other two packages (Pro and Standard) sit just below it. Each of these packages starts with an inclusion of 12 users and 4 simultaneous calls. But there are costs to adding on more users.
The Standard is free for the first 2 years, while the Pro and Enterprise plans are free for the first year alone. The pro plan has an annual cost of $145, while the Enterprise plan has an annual cost of $180. Each of the three plans is $100 per year if they are hosted. And finally, it costs $75 for a support ticket for each plan.
One of the price perks of 3CX systems is that the more users you add to your plan, the lower the cost is going to be.
Buying in bulk seems to be the best way to get more bang for your buck.
As soon as you add just one more user than 12, you’re looking at an extra $1.12/user/month (Standard), $1.70/user/month (Pro), or $2.08/user/month (Enterprise). As you add more users, those costs decrease by a few cents each.
Virtual Phone System Cost ($50/user/month)
Virtual phone systems are similar to PBX and VoIP services, where you can make and receive calls via an Internet connection on desk phones, mobile devices, and desktops alike. The nice thing about virtual phone systems is that they let users access the service anywhere they take their device(s). You have virtual lines, as opposed to physical phone lines, and this works by making use of VoIP technology.
The main difference between virtual phones and PBX phones is that virtual systems do not require physical hardware setup or maintenance, and virtual systems actually have text message and voicemail transcribing functions.
Virtual phone systems may actually be a very cost-effective option if you operate a small business or company. On average, they cost just below $50/user/month. And, if you choose to get compatible desk phones for these systems, you’re looking at an added average cost of about $215 per phone.
Or, to compare market costs, you can browse quotes we’ve pulled from companies selling virtual phone systems for businesses on the market right now. Prices will vary based on what types of plans the companies offer to businesses, as well as add-on packages, deals, and other factors.
- Aircall Virtual Phone System ($40/user/month for essentials or $70/user/month for professional plans) – Aircall is a virtual phone system that is a great option for support and sales teams. They champion call center software, trusted by more than 8,000 companies worldwide. Aircall lets customers save 20% per month by purchasing an annually billed plan, as well. Custom plans require a quote.
- OpenPhone Virtual Phone System ($10/user/month for a standard plan or $25/user/month for a premium plan) – OpenPhone is known to be a cost-effective solution for small operation businesses. It’s cheaper than most plans because you can automatically add work phone numbers to the devices you already own, thus eliminating the need for any hardware purchases. It works with iOS, macOS, Android, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Enterprise (top tier) plans require a quote. Do note that international calling and messaging cost an add-on fee, and so do add additional phone numbers ($5/number/month).
- CallHippo Virtual Phone System ($17/user/month for bronze, $30/user/month for silver, $45/user/month for platinum, and custom quotes for enterprise) – CallHippo is a virtual phone system including call tracking and speech analytics. They also offer voice broadcasting services. You can integrate systems such as Zendesk, Slack, Salesforce, and more into CallHippo’s business phone system in order to streamline your company’s workflow. Add-ons cost extra, including custom caller ID ($12/user/month), call scribe ($10/user/month), voicemail transcription ($1.5/user/month), and call tracking insights ($25/account/month), among others.
8×8 Phone System Cost ($33/user/month)
An 8×8 phone system is not that different from other phone systems on this list, but it is one of the older systems on the list. 8×8 is a type of phone system that businesses use for video conference calls, messages, and voice calls. It’s actually been around since the late 1980s, and it started as a semiconductor phone company. Nowadays, it integrates modern phone services such as cloud-based VoIP to accommodate businesses that do work remotely or mainly over the internet.
The 8×8 phone system platform is host to some exciting features such as:
- APIs and apps
- Team chat platforms
- Local and global phone calling
- HD video meeting for desktop and mobile devices
- Artificial intelligence-powered contact center
8×8 Plan Costs
When we looked at the average cost of an 8×8 phone service, we directly calculated the average cost of these three plans, based on their per-month costs ($33/user/month).
When it comes to the average cost for 8×8 phone systems, we first need to examine the three different phone plans offered by the company. They offer a stand-alone small business phone system plan called the 8×8 Express that costs just $12/user/month (with a free one-month trial available).
This Express plan features voice/video/messaging, unlimited calling in the US and Canada, voicemail, hold, AI, and more.
One tier up from Express is the X2 plans, which feature all-in-one voice, video, and chat features. This costs $24/user/month if billed annually – otherwise $32/user/month. With this plan, you also get small business and enterprise integrations, as well as fax functions.
And then there are the X4 plans (top tier), which have analytics for administrators and supervisors. You get unlimited voice calling in over 40 countries, as well as call quality reports, and more. It costs $44/user/month if billed annually – otherwise $57/user/month.
PBX Phone System ($1,450)
A PBX phone system is a Private Branch Exchange phone system that works like an internal phone network for a specific company or business. These systems can also operate with external lines for calls. Calls between users of a phone plan are free, but you do have to pay for other types.
The PBX phone system has many features that other phone systems do, such as voicemail, call forwarding, AI attendants, and call transfers. Most of the time, you’ll find that they either operate with VoIP (Internet-based connection) or with analog and digital phone lines. You actually have cloud, VoIP, and analog systems for PBX phone services, and they only differ slightly. When we look at the cost breakdown, we can consider the average cost for these different PBX setups.
Analog PBX Systems ($900)
Analog means that this phone system is an intra-office setup. It runs via PSTN (public switched telephone network) and POTS (plain old telephone network). As opposed to VoIP and cloud-based systems, analog systems do not connect via the Internet, so you won’t get the same features that those systems do.
On average, it costs a business about $900/employee for a complete analog PBX system setup. This cost estimate factors in the cost of equipment such as phones, base systems, training for setup, and installation. Note, however, that you won’t necessarily pay for all of these things if your company is already aware of how these products are set up and work. Further, when buying in bulk for a whole business, you can discount the price.
VoIP PBX Systems ($1,000)
VoIP PBX systems, as opposed to analog systems, are much more forward-thinking. As we described above, VoIP phone systems operate with an Internet connection, so they give you capabilities to use video conferencing, messaging, AI receptionists, voice calling, and more.
It takes the old analog PBX system and just enhances it with VoIP service. On average, you can get a VoIP phone set up for a PBX phone system for around $1,000.
Cloud PBX System ($2,000)
Cloud PBX Systems are essentially VoIP systems, and they are known as hosted PBX systems. These systems run with a connection to VoIP providers. You simply need a broadband Internet connection in order to get these systems to work. On average, you’re looking at a cost of around $45/line as well as an average of just over $2,000 for hardware.
Cloud Phone System Cost ($30/month/user)
Cloud phone systems are just as their name suggests; they enable phone capabilities via the cloud. Cloud-based phone systems are very similar to VoIP phone systems, but they do have some discrepancies. While these two system types serve the same functions, cloud-based systems are more comprehensive than VoIP systems.
This is because the cloud incorporates all of the same VoIP services (Internet-based phone calls as opposed to analog phone calls), as well as the ability to turn any device with an Internet connection into a phone.
Further, cloud phone systems have the ability to add on collaboration features for shared users. Cloud systems utilize AI technology, instant messaging, video conferencing, call forwarding, auto attendants, voicemail-to-email, international calling, ring anywhere, and more.
When it comes to the cost of cloud phone systems, they don’t differ too much from VoIP system costs since they are so similar. The average cost of a cloud phone system is around $30 per user per month, but additional services such as contact center functions are where you start racking up costs (around $115/month).
Or, you can compare by looking at quotes among companies offering cloud-based phone systems for businesses:
- Ooma Office Cloud Phone System ($19.95/user/month for basic or $24.95/user/month for pro) – Ooma offers team video conferencing, holds, extension, virtual receptionist, and other services like the ability to manage business phones via mobile apps.
- Dialpad Cloud Phone System ($15-$20/user/month for standard or $25-$30/user/month for pro) – Dialpad is a basic cloud phone system that offers call center services, messaging, meetings, call controls, voicemail, fax, and of course service in multiple locations. Their Enterprise plan requires a quote.
- Avaya OneCloud Phone System ($41/user/month for digital, $71/user/month for voice, or $111/user/month for all media) – Avaya connects your business workflow via the cloud in a comprehensive set of services for calling, messaging, analytics, and more.
Factors That May Affect Phone System Costs
The above estimates are of course just starting points when it comes to phone systems, and they don’t account for individual differences among businesses. Depending on whether you are a small business with less than 10 total employees or a startup that needs to provide phone systems for 100 people, your costs will differ significantly.
Below, take a look at some of the most common factors that play into cost discrepancies among business phone systems. Based on what type and size of business you have, your costs will be unique.
- Cost is dependent on the package and provider (some packages are offered per user/per month, while others include multiple users or phone lines in one monthly rate)
- The cost will decrease if you buy a phone system in bulk (i.e. you have a large company with many employees you are including in the plan)
- The cost will decrease if you pay annually (companies typically decrease the equivalent monthly rate by anywhere from 10-30%)
- Some phone systems and plans offer free trials, wherein you can get some services for free for the first month or year(s)
- Some phone systems involve extra expenses for installation, wiring, and setup, as well as hardware and physical phones
- Add-on packages are an extra expense that you won’t necessarily need, but they can add services to your plan that you may find essential for your business (like customer support, for example)
Average Cost of Business Phone System Equipment
One thing you need to consider when choosing a business phone system is that certain types of phone systems require equipment or hardware to operate.
While virtual and mainly cloud-based systems do not, analog systems do. This means that for phone systems such as the VoIP systems that link into analog phone lines or any other system that connects to physical in-office phones, you need to purchase equipment.
In order to understand the costs of hardware, we can look at some typical pieces of hardware a business might be purchasing.
|Phone Hardware||Average Cost|
|Phone Handset||$600 per user|
|Advanced Business Phones||$195 per user|
|Low-End Business Phones||$100 per user|
Note that not every business that requires phone hardware or handsets will require the top of line equipment.
Some businesses, such as small operations like an online freelancing agency or a 5-woman business may only require simple phones for their office space.
On the other hand, if you’re running a quickly-growing startup with both remote and in-person offices, then you may consider going with advanced business phones and buying in bulk to suit your needs.
Average Cost of Business Phone System Installation and Setup Services ($400)
Costs of business phone systems will also vary based on the initial costs, which are made up of setup and installation fees. While not every business will require setup or installation services, those who do should be aware of the cost discrepancies.
On average, phone system installation costs ring in at just below $400 in the United States, with the lowest costs being just below $100 and the highest costs being greater than $1200.
While these figures represent national averages, we must still account for differences in installation costs for the different kinds of phone systems we spoke about in today’s article.
The below averages give examples of costs for installation and setup for VoIP and PBX phone systems, in order to compare systems that are mostly virtual with systems that are more hardware-based.
VoIP Phone System Installation and Setup Costs ($4,500 + $600)
You are often going to face an initial, one-time setup fee for installing a VoIP phone system. However, given that VoIP works via an Internet connection, your fees won’t be as high as other systems’ fees.
If you have any analog elements to your personal VoIP phone system, then the costs of installing phones, power sources, routers, etc. will ring just below an average of $4,500. On the other hand, the cost of setup (one-time setup of cable run and virtual configuration) will be just above $600 on average.
PBX Phone System Installation and Setup Costs ($2,500 + $1,650)
When it comes to PBX phone systems, know that your average costs are much steeper than VoIP costs. This is because PBX phone systems rely on an interconnected set of phones within an office. There is more equipment to account for, as well as analog components.
For PBX phone systems, you can expect to pay around $2.5k on average for the initial setup of the main units. And when it comes to installation services, you can expect to pay more than $1,650 on average for wiring and other parts.
Pricing Factors for Office Phone Systems
There are many good questions a business should ask before they determine the pricing that works for them.
If you are wondering how much an office phone system will cost, consider these factors:
The number of users practically sets the price of your phone system. User needs should be focused on the number of phone lines required.
Some components of business may only require a single user, the reception or the mailroom.
When conducting user planning, it’s important to consider not only external needs but how employees must communicate internally as well.
Number of Locations
If a business has more than one location, this cost will also have to be factored into the budget. A company with 20 users and a single site will have considerably fewer costs than a company with 4 sites.
Every location will add to the cost of installation, so this is also something to consider.
Not every phone is priced the same. Depending on the brand and features, the hardware costs can vary drastically.
Whether you select a generic model or a brand name, other phone features you may choose from include:
- Call forwarding
- 3-way calling
- Call transferring
- Call hold
- Automatic callback
- Call waiting
- Speed dial
- Inside/outside ringing
All these features will have to be aligned with a company’s needs to determine accurate pricing.
The basic package of any phone system gives an organization the ability to place and receive local/long-distance calls. This is the bare minimum.
There are many additional features you can choose to add on, depending on what you must achieve.
Some of those resources are:
- Enhanced 911 services
- Call center
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Integrated CRM, ERP, or other internal software
Although these types of services can increase the cost of an office phone system, when integrated, they may decrease your cost on other apps, like 3rd party CRMs.
Any employee who will be using your phone system must also be trained on the hardware and software. Effectively operating new technology will always have a cost associated with training.
The amount can vary by site and number of employees. Thus, a large company must incorporate training costs when considering the installation of a new phone system.
Typically, office phone systems do not require a lot of maintenance, but that can vary according to the software. The more complex the system, the more you’ll need updates.
Provider offerings can differ. Many small businesses opt for maintenance assistance in their contracts. This can keep the cost down.
However, if you have an internal IT staff, it may not be necessary to seek outside help.
Ultimately, the type of system you select will affect the cost of hardware, installation, and maintenance. It may also dictate the pricing of any add-on service.
Some general factors to consider when selecting a system include:
- Reliability and uptime
- Level of service
- Add-on features
- Customer support
- Integration with other systems
- Easily to upgrade (better to scale)
The more research and planning performed, the fewer surprises on pricing.
Comparing The Top 3 Best Business Phone Systems
Once the expected budget is determined, it’s time to investigate the top brands on the market. All pricing plans are on a monthly basis and determined by the user.
Typically, if you pay the annual fee, it’s at a much lower cost. The best three out there for any business right now are RingCentral, Nextiva, and Vonage.
RingCentral has a sliding bar on its pricing plan. You can choose whether to view them at annual or monthly rates. If you pay by the year, you save 33% on cost.
The company size is broken into four sections:
- 1 user
- 2-99 users
- 100-999 users
- 1000+ users
The pricing breaks down into four packages:
This is the basic package and with 1 user, the price is $29.99/month. In a company of 2-99 users, it goes down to $19.99/month.
The Essentials package is not available for any company larger than 99 people.
The Standard package is the next level up and starts at $34.99/month for 1 user. It then decreases to $24.99/month for companies with 2-99 users.
For a business between 100-999, the price is $32.99. Anything over that is offered at $29.99/month.
The Premium package has many more features than the first two and starts at $44.99/month for 1 user.
For a company with 2-99 users, the price is $34.99. 100-999 users the cost is $32.99 and anything over that is $29.99.
The Ultimate package comes with the most features, from Salesforce integration to multi-site support. For 1 user the cost is $59.99/month.
For 2-99 users, it goes down to $49.99. For 100-999 users, the price is $42.99 and anything more is $39.99/month.
The features for RingCentral differ by package and are great in number. Every package comes with the main functions of an office phone system, which include:
- Unlimited calls in the US
- A toll-free or local phone number
- 100 toll-free minutes/month
For more information, RingCentral has excellent customer support. They also have add-ons like extra phone numbers and international calling.
The pricing for Nextiva is divided by package, users, and contract.
There are three ways to pay:
- By month
- 36-month agreement (by month)
- 12-month agreement prepaid
Your lowest rates will be if you prepay for the contract. Promising 36 months will bring in the next lowest costs. The company size is divided as such:
- 1-4 users
- 5-19 users
- 20-99 users
- 100+ users
Again, the more users, the lower the rates. The difference between the rates of 1-4 users and 100+ is about $10-11/month.
The three packages Nextiva offers are Basic, Pro, and Enterprise. They all include a business phone service and customer relationship suite.
The basic package starts at $20/mo/user and goes up from there depending on the factors discussed above.
Features include the ability to:
- Manage prospects
- Service customers
- Collaborate with teams
The most expensive price for this package is for 1-4 users paying $35/month/user.
The Pro package starts at $25/month/user. It includes everything that the Basic package does, plus the ability to survey customers.
The most expensive price for this package is for 1-4 users paying $38/month/user.
The Enterprise package starts at $30/month/user. It includes everything that the other two packages offer, plus the ability to run analytics and live chat.
The most expensive price for this package is for 1-4 users paying $55/month/user.
The Vonage phone system offers over 40 different features with every package. Unlike the other two on the list, they have separate pricing for a mobile plan.
Every plan comes with a free 14-day trial and includes:
- Service via high-speed internet
- Use your own phone number
- 24/7 Us-based tech support
- 999% uptime reliability
- Large selection of hardware
The system is divided into lines and packages.
- 1-4 lines
- 5-19 lines
- 20-99 lines
- 100+ lines
The tiered pricing is:
For anything over 100 lines, a business should contact sales for more custom pricing.
The Mobile package allows a business to communicate through their mobile device or desktop. This is the best option for remote teams and for people who don’t need a desk phone.
Pricing is as follows based on lines:
- 1-4 lines for $19.99
- 5-19 lines for $17.99
- 20-99 lines for $14.99
- 100 + lines call for a quote
The Premium package allows a company to communicate on any device. This package is best for traditional office environments.
Pricing is as follows based on lines:
- 1-4 lines for $29.99
- 5-19 lines for $27.99
- 20-99 lines for $24.99
- 100 + lines call for a quote
The Advanced package is best for more complex analytics and business communications. You also receive a dedicated team with this package.
They will help set up and onboard staff to ensure success.
Pricing is as follows based on lines:
- 1-4 lines for $39.99
- 5-19 lines for $37.99
- 20-99 lines for $34.99
- 100 + lines call for a quote
Businesses are increasingly turning to more advanced forms of phone systems to run their operations. Whether your company is small or large, remote or interconnected within an office, there are plenty of phone systems available at reasonable costs. When choosing a plan, you should consider the most integrative phone systems, such as cloud-based, VoIP, 3CX, 8×8, and other phone systems, which we outlined today.
In general, you will pay far more for a phone system that requires hardware and installation than you will for a virtual or Internet-run phone system that your company can use remotely. Most phone plans themselves do not cost more than around $30-$50 per user, per month.
However, if you have to purchase add-ons, upgrade, or integrate handsets and other equipment, you could be looking at extra expenses. Make sure to shop around and pinpoint what type of phone system best suits the size, scope, and needs of your business before choosing one. You may be interested in Predictive Dialer.