A PBX is the function that mediates phone calls. It regards calling a manual or automatic service which further transfers you to the right person or service. The first phone systems consisted of manual PBXs where telephonists connected two parts to be able to perform a call.
A manual PBX still exists in the even where you would for example call a big company. A telephonist in the PBX will then answer and ask who you’re looking for and thereafter connect you to the right person. This is increasingly becoming replaced by an automatic PBX.
An automatic PBX consists of calling a number where an automatic telephonist answers. You’ll hear a few choices and click your way through the PBX by entering the number that is mentioned. This is a common way to move forward in a PBX today.
- A PBX is either automatic or manual.
- Telephonists were previously necessary to connect two parts in a call.
- Today most PBXs have an automatic telephonist that picks up.
- Today there are no longer any phone PBXs for private calls.
- The last phone PBX for private calls was terminated in the 1970s in Sweden.
- Now it’s managed digitally which makes it possible to handle a much larger number of calls.
- Televerket for a long time had monopoly on the phone PBXs in Sweden.
Public monopoly on phone PBXs
For a long time there was a public monopoly on everything form service to support that belonged to telephony. For a whole 80 years this monopoly existed in Sweden and the last bit of it, landline telephony, ceased to exist in 2005. During the monopoly the government was responsible for the PBXs, telephonists and the maintenance.
Systems for phone PBXs were expensive and there were only a few alternatives to choose from due to the state monopoly and its’ investment in technically advanced and operation safe alternatives. A big company PBX could cost 5 million Swedish kr. This was a huge initial cost for companies that over time became less expensive.
The government always made sure the operation was reliable. Because of increasing and more important investments of PBXs, with technique developing, votes of releasing the market to invest in PBXs started to diminish.
The digital PBX
In the late 00s the digital PBXs became more advanced. Today you can manage a phone PBX through an interface in your mobile. There are also various interface based programs for PBXs that can be connected to a computer, such as a softphone. In that way you can streamline the PBX if you have a lot of employees.
You can for example connect an incoming call to a landline or a mobile phone. Other programs allow employees to individually enter what available times there are so that the automatic PBX will message the person calling when you can be reached.
The future PBX is expected to pass over to IP telephony or other technique based on infrastructure for internet specifically. This may include resources such as internet traffic shared and placed in the cloud service instead.Glossary