VoIP Cost Comparison

Subscription Plans vs. Software PBX

VoIP Cost Comparison

To do a VoIP Cost Comparison, we first have to look at what subscription plans and software systems have in common, how they’re different, and how the differences affect the overall cost of ownership.

Cloud-Based Subscription Services

Many of the most common names in VoIP today are cloud based subscription services, like RingCentral, Vonage, and 8×8.

Monthly subscription plans start at about $25 per extension and go up from there. There are no start up costs, and no local server is required.

Note that the backbone of a subscription service is also a software PBX. The difference is that with a subscription service, you’re renting (not buying) the software and they control your access to it.

Software PBX (Cloud or Local Server)

Software PBX Systems started with Asterisk.

Mostly for techies, it got the job done, but was not really an ‘out of the box” phone solution for the average office. You definitely needed some tech expertise to get it working well.

When hosted subscription plans became available, many offices migrated to them, because in-house systems were just too much trouble to maintain without a tech person on staff.

Modern Software PBX Systems have come a long way since then, and are much easier to setup and maintain. They can be hosted onsite, or even on a cloud server.

The big difference in owning a system is control. You choose how many phone lines you need, and how much to spend on them. More importantly, since you’re not paying by extension, you can put phones where you need them, without worrying about any additional monthly costs.

General VoIP Cost Comparison

Cloud-Based Subscription Services

  • No upfront software costs
  • No on-site server
  • Only offer their SIP Trunks
  • Charges a flat fee for each extension (regardless of usage)
  • Unlimited calling is included in the monthly fee

Software PBX (Cloud or Local Server)

  • Upfront costs for the software
  • Upfront cost of a computer (if you choose on-site)
  • Can use SIP Trunks and Analog Lines in any combination
  • Doesn’t charge by extension at all
  • Pay as you go with SIP Trunks and /or Analog Lines

Solution Costs in a 20 Person Office

Cloud-Based Subscription Services

  • Medium sized office with 20 extensions
  • Variable upfront cost for phones (same as Software)
  • No upfront cost for system
  • No Local Server required
  • Flat fee of $500 per month (assuming lowest tier plan; could be twice that much)

5 year cost: $30,000

Software PBX (Cloud or Local Server)

  • Medium sized office with 20 extensions
  • Variable upfront cost for phones (same as Subscription plan)
  • Upfront software cost (8-call 3CX license) : $698
  • Windows or Linux desktop to run the 3CX software: $500
  • Monthly SIP Trunk charge (unlimited incoming, 5000 minutes outgoing): $100

5 year cost: $7,198

Solution Costs in an 8 Person Office

Cloud-Based Subscription Services

  • Small office with 8 extensions
  • Variable upfront cost for phones
  • No upfront cost for system
  • No local server required
  • Flat fee of $200 per month (assuming bottom tier plan; could be twice that much)

5 year cost: $12,000

Software PBX (Cloud or Local Server)

  • Small office with 8 extensions
  • Variable upfront cost for phones
  • Upfront software cost (4-call 3CX license) : $298
  • Windows or Linux desktop to run the 3CX software: $500
  • Monthly SIP Trunk charge (unlimited incoming, 2000 minutes outgoing): $60

5 year cost: $4,398

If you’re currently on a monthly subscription plan from one of these providers, you could be saving thousands per year with your own software PBX from 3CX.

  • RingCentral
  • Vonage
  • 8×8
  • Mitel
  • Jive Communications
  • MegaPath
  • VoIPLy

Get Started with a Software PBX System

Schedule a free consultation to learn how you can start saving.

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