Costs of a Phone System

The costs of business phone systems are all over the map, quite honestly.  For example – wiring, installation, the actual telephones themselves, the telephone system (cabinet), optional accessories such as CTI, on-hold music and your monthly service fees are all included in the costs of a business telephone system.  While there is average pricing for each of the different types of office phone systems, additional features and the number of employees that you have or plan on having in the near future can cause the overall costs to fluctuate quite a bit.

Average costs of different phone systems

To put things into an easy-to-understand perspective, the costs for business phone systems are often displayed as the total cost per user or employee.

  • Key systems can run anywhere between $350 to $1,000 per employee, and this largely depends on the features that you need for your business.
  • PBX telephone systems start out around $800 per employee, though the average price is around $1,000 per employee.  However, because of scaling, the costs per employee are generally less with PBX systems if you have 100 or more employees.
  • KSU-less systems are oftentimes one of the least expensive choices of the lot as because your only actual costs are the telephones themselves, setup and installation.  KSU-less telephones can cost anywhere from $100 to $250 per phone, though you do have to consider your time, maintenance, and any additional wiring that would need to take place to use this type of phone system.
  • VOIP phone systems run about the same as KSU-less systems in terms of cost, and in many cases, KSU-less telephones can be used for a business’s internet phone system.  However, internet phone systems require a router, which may increase your one-time costs slightly, depending on the vendor, if you decide to choose this option.  VOIP phone systems will cost anywhere between $100 and $250 on average.

Factors that can affect the cost of your business telephone system

Here is a breakdown of some of the factors that can affect the costs of your business’ telephone system.

  • Telephones – The telephones that you choose for your phone system will affect the overall costs. For instance, Panasonic phone systems may cost more, or less, than other systems from AT&T, NEC, Linksys, or Samsung.  In some cases, especially if you are buying in bulk or just looking for cheap phones for your phone system, you can purchase telephones for less than $100 each.
  • Cabinet – The cabinet is the head of operations for your entire telephone system.  Depending on the size and complexity of the system that you need, the cabinet alone can run anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more in some cases.  While the cabinet is included in your telephone system’s cost – this is a somewhat significant part of your expense.
  • Optional features – Features for your business’ phone system are not always included; optional features such as on-hold music, voicemail and a CTI are not usually a part of standard phone system packages.  Requiring additional features for your telephone system will increase your costs.
  • Installation – In many cases, the costs of installation will rival the price you pay for your entire telephone system.  While installation and wiring is not cheap, key systems and PBX phone systems are complex setups that require professional installation.  One thing to be aware of, though - if your office’s wiring is not compatible or is inadequate for your telephone system, there will likely be additional charges added beyond the general price for your office’s phone system setup.

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