How much does a business telephone system cost?
Are you a small business owner who’s interested in knowing more about telephone system prices? Find out the key costs to consider here
If you’re looking to invest in telephone systems for your small business, it’s important to know how much you need to budget for a system that suits your startup’s requirements. But how do you know if you can afford a phone system for your startup? And how do you find good, cheap business telephone systems?
We’ll guide you through all the information you need to know, including cost, company size, and other considerations you should factor into the decision-making process. Plus, we’ll provide information about how much you can expect to pay for different types of phone systems.
Business telephone system prices overview
How much you can expect to pay for your business' phone system will vary depending on certain factors, such as the size and function of your business.
In this section, we’ll give you an idea of how the costs are calculated for different types of businesses, to help you find what’s best for you.
For example, while a micro business with 10 phones can expect to pay £300+, a small businesswith 20 phones, may be expected to pay around £600+.
Similarly, medium-sized businesses needing 50-60 phones are looking at costs in the region of £1,600-£1,900+, while large businesses with 200-300 phones can expect to pay even more – somewhere around £8,000+.
For more detailed information about phone system costs based on different business sizes, read our dedicated section below.
When buying a phone system, it can be easy to think that the cheapest price is the best for your budget. But what factors should you take into account, in addition to the price point, when selecting a system for your startup?
- Are the cheapest systems also the most valuable? For example, while a small price tag may seem like a great deal, consider the costs of repairs and maintenance that a secondhand system could incur
- What is and isn’t included in the price? A lower figure could indicate a cost-effective purchase, but be sure to review if any additional charges are applicable, such as for maintenance, support, or installation
- Does the system have any specific requirements? Whether the system is only compatible with certain devices, or if it needs a particular amount of bandwidth, check if there are any other costs you’ll need to factor in to make the system work
- Which ongoing charges will be applicable? Once you buy a phone system, the costs don’t always end after the initial purchase. Many often require monthly plans for calls or to use the service, so assess these charges to find out what matches your budget – both immediately and in the long-term
Also, a traditional cheap business phone line may seem like a good choice initially, but once you factor in the costs to add or remove a line as your business requires, it may not seem so cost effective.
Cheap business phone system suppliers
With so much information out there, how do you know which phone systems are really the least expensive? Here we profile some of the top cheapest phone systems, including how they stand out.
|Supplier||Type||Best for||Starting price|
|Zendesk||VoIP||International brand recognition||TalkLite package: £0+
Support package: £5+
|VoIPfone||VoIP||Award-winning service||From £1 per month|
|VoIPstudio||VoIP||Excellent Trustpilot reviews||From £3.99 per month|
|Telephone systems.cloud||Cloud||Pick and mix features||From £10 per user, per month|
To compare quotes for top telephone system suppliers, simply complete our quick and easy form.
VoIP phone system cost
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and describes a way of using the internet to make and receive phone calls. For a more detailed definition, read our ‘what is VoIP?’ article.
VoIP is suitable for businesses with the following requirements, among others:
- Budget-conscious – as VoIP phone systems use the internet to connect calls, this can reduce call costs and other charges associated with making and receiving calls
- Small spaces – without the need for physical phone lines, or even phones (if you choose to use softphones), a VoIP system often requires a minimal amount of space
- Remote teams – as VoIP is an internet-based service, this means that your team members can work from multiple places, and don’t need to be tied to a particular location
PBX phone system cost
A private branch exchange, commonly known as a PBX, is a way of connecting phone calls. Traditionally, a PBX would have been wired, although it’s now possible to use internet-based PBX systems.
PBX phone systems can be located on your premises or elsewhere, or even hosted on the cloud. Read our PBX phone system installation article for more information.
Who should use a PBX?
PBX phone systems could be suitable for a range of business needs, as they offer the flexibility to create a system that matches varying requirements (e.g. hosted or on-premises, wired or internet-based).
|Supplier||Best for||Starting price|
|RingCentral||App integrations||£7.99-£24.99 per user, per month|
|8x8||Speedy development||Available on request|
|Mitel||Growing businesses||£13.59-£23.79 per user, per month|
Do you want to know more about PBX? Read our comprehensive guide on PBX for a detailed look at this type of phone system.
Telephone system costs by company size
In this section, we break down the different costs associated with phone systems, depending on the size of the business. This should you give you a very rough idea as to the different costs involved. The prices given take into account the fact that you may be provided with refurbished phones.
Small business phone system costs
A small business is one that has fewer than 50 team members. Businesses that have up to 10 staff are classified as micro businesses.
Although it depends on the business’ requirements (and exact size), small businesses could have up to 20 phones, with micro businesses possibly needing 10 or fewer phones.
|Phone type||Quantity||Price per unit||Total cost|
Medium-sized business phone system costs
Medium-sized businesses have more than 50, but fewer than 250 team members. In this range, these types of business might require 50+ phones – a telemarketing company, for example.
|Phone type||Quantity||Price per unit||Total cost|
Large business phone system costs
Based on the above definitions, it follows that a company with 250+ staff is considered to be a large business. With this many team members, such businesses could need 300+ phones – a call centre could require this amount to function, for example.
|Phone type||Quantity||Price per unit||Total|
What other costs might I need to consider?
In addition to finding the cheapest system and one which matches the size of your business, there are additional costs to factor in when calculating telephone system prices. These include:
- Installation – you’ll need to factor in the fee for a professional installation, unless you or your team members have the relevant expertise
- Maintenance – whether you need remote support or an in-person visit, it’s likely that your phone system will need maintenance on at least a yearly basis, if not more frequently. The amount you’ll be charged depends on the level of cover you choose, with more comprehensive packages likely to incur higher prices
- Training – you and your team may require specialist training to use the systems effectively. The costs for this vary, depending on if training is available internally, or if it needs to be delivered by an external organisation
- Ongoing charges – these could include the business energy charges required to run the system, as well as the monthly call plans and other services
- Extra plan charges – if you opt for a pre-agreed amount of minutes, then go over this, you may incur additional fees from your provider
Compare telephone system prices
From reading this article, you’ve learned more about the different elements that go into pricing a phone system for your small business. We’ve covered key points, such as phone type, company size, and extra charges that you may encounter, such as installation and maintenance.
Alternatively, for information based upon your exact business needs, complete our quote finder form to compare services and prices for telephone systems now – it’s easy, free, and quick!