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Upgrade of current telephone systems

Jun 22, 2011
Hello All,

We need to relocate our office to another unit and therefore, to move our current PABX system to the new office.

I am wondering if I should take the opportunity to upgrade our current system but I am not very familiar with all this and would like some "experts" to share their opinions.

Here is what we have at the moment:
- 4 Basic Telkom Lines (1x for the main telephone line, 1x for the fax, 1x for the ADSL, 1x unused, don't ask me why, it was subscribed by the previous guy in charge!)
- 1x Siemens PABX HiPath 1120
- 3x phones (1x main+ 1x cordless in the office, and 1x corded phone in the warehouse)
- 1x All-in-one fax/printer machine (connected to the fax line)
- 1x ADSL modem/router (connected to the ADSL line)

90% of the incoming calls are received/made from the main office telephone. The rest are transferred or done through the corldless phone mostly, and the warehouse phone (once a year maybe?). I also would like to have the following features: Caller ID, and 2 simultaneous calls (picking up a 2nd call while the 1st one is put on hold).

This looks to me like poorly optimised and if we have to relocate, I believe this is time to also optimise and possibly upgrade the system. Some companies are asking me R8-9000 thousands just to relocate our existing equipment, or R16,000 for a new system, which is a lot of money to me!

I did some research, here are some options that I found

Alternative to our PABX system:
- hosted PBX solutions (but what if our internet connection is down? we also lose all voice connections I suppose?). I like the idea of keeping some kind of backup solution in order to avoid a total blackout...
- Siemens DX800A All-in-One PBX solution + 3 handsets to replace our current PABX

Optimisation of our Telkom lines
- Would ISDN be a solution for me? Would that allow me to have the CallerID + 2 simultaneous calls on the same line? If so, I can upgrade to 1x ISDN line instead of 2 basic lines I believe
- Keeping our 4x Telkom lines as is, but combine the main office line with the unused line with the Line Hunting option in order to be able to handle 2 calls simultaneously.

I would appreciate that people who are familar with all these technologies provide me with some feedback in order to make a good choice.

Thanks for your help!


Executive Member
Jul 31, 2007
Your current PABX system should be fine for such limited use.
You just need to get it moved or do it yourself because its really simple to do and shouldnt cost nearly that much for so few extensions.
ISDN 2a can do two calls but then needs an ISDN compatible switchboard.
Rather just use both lines and get the secondary number to hunt to the primary and all will be well.
Jun 22, 2011
Thanks for your reply.

Well, obviously, my original ideas was to keep it as is. But I am not confident in being able to relocate the system by myself so I have to rely on someone else for that.

The Siemens DX800A with 2 or 3 handsets is still half the price of the relocation of our current system, for something which, I believe, is more modern and complete. Also, on a purely cost point of view and if I am not wrong, renting two basic lines will be more expensive than renting one ISDN2...

On a technical point of view, does this make sense?


Well-Known Member
May 23, 2012
I would go for VOIP.

Your environment is small and I can suggest to contact either Switch Telecom, Bitco or Connection Telecom. You can port your existing number to them if the account is under the name of the company.

For such a small amount of extensions, you can easily run the whole system with a wireless internet connection (so you can run data and voice at the same time). Unfortunately, a wireless connection will depend of your location and line of sight to the towers of the supplier.

Maybe a Neotel LTE or Wimax can support your data/voice traffic. ADSL can run the system, but you are going to experience quality issues. Anything over 2mbps symetrical should do the trick (better if you get a lower contention).

If you contact switch telecom or bitco, maybe they can help you to get the best connection for your needs.

If you think that you need of a backup plan for your voice traffic, most Hosted Voip systems can automatically reroute your calls to a cellphone if the line goes down though a Web Platform were you can control the system.

Best thing is that you do not need much equipment, besides your handsets and you can make them run in your existing CAT5 cabling.

If you have POE switches, much better. If not, all phones can use a power adapter.

one advice: Buy your telephone devices (hardware) if you can. Then you will pay only for the service. Your telephone bill will see a massive drop (I put mine down from 20K to 5k a month). Also if you own the devices and you get tired of your supplier, you can easily move to another one.