Multi-Line Phone Systems For Business

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According to our research, the best multi-line phone systems are provided by Uniden, Orchid Telecom, AT&T, VTech, and BT.

If you’re running a small business and already have a landline infrastructure in place, a multi-line phone system is an easy way to start communicating professionally. These systems give you the ability to field multiple calls at once, and introduce business features such as on-hold music and auto-attendants. Your other option is a VoIP phone system, which we discuss near the end of this article.

These days, multi-line phone systems come in two forms: key phone and PBX. But how do you know which one to use? In our breakdown of the best multi-line phone systems, we’ve provided you with a selection of key phone systems and PBX hybrid phone systems, plus the information you need to decide on the right solution for your business.

The best multi-line phone systems

From our research, we’ve discovered that the best multi-line phone systems are:

  • Uniden DECT4096 multi-line corded and cordless phones
  • Orchid Telecom PBX 308+ starter pack
  • AT&T TL88102 cordless phone
  • VTech CM18245 multi-line corded deskphone
  • BT Versatility 4 line analogue telephone system

Let’s have a look at the top multi-line phone systems, rated.

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Uniden DECT4096 multi-line corded and cordless phones

Orchid Telecom PBX 308+ starter pack

AT&T TL88102 cordless phone

VTech CM18245 multi-line corded deskphone

BT Versatility 4 line analogue telephone system

Key Features
  • 2 lines
  • Up to 10 phones
Key Features
  • PBX compatible
  • 3 lines
  • Up to 8 phones
Key Features
  • 2 lines
  • Up to 12 phones
Key Features
  • PBX compatible
  • 4 lines
  • Up to 10 phones
Key Features
  • PBX compatible
  • 4 lines
  • Up to 8 phones
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Which multi-line phone system is right for me?

Read up on our choice of the best multi-line phone systems to find out which solution you should be investing in.

1. Uniden DECT4096 multi-line corded and cordless phones

Uniden DECT4096 multi-line phones
Uniden logo
Uniden DECT4096
Quick overview

Uniden Holdings is a Japanese company founded in 1966 by Hidero Fujimoto as "Uni Electronics Corp". Initially, it was known for manufacturing and marketing millions of citizens band radios (CB) under the Uniden brand. 

In the early '80s, Uniden Holdings expanded in the UK by marketing CB radios under the Uniden and Uniace brands. The company also achieved success in Europe by introducing 900 MHz cordless telephones.

Standout features:

  • 2 lines
  • Caller ID display
  • Expandable up to ten handsets
  • Call transfer

This phone system takes calls from two lines, and comes with an additional deskphone so you can pick up both lines at the same time. It’s expandable up to ten handsets, so it’ll grow as your business blossoms. Lastly, with advanced phonebook features, call transfer, a built in alarm clock, and schedule reminders, any small business will find this phone system a valuable tool in the office.

2. Orchid Telecom PBX 308+ starter pack

Orchid Telecom PBX 308
Orchid Telecom logo
Orchid Telecom PBX 308+
Quick overview

Orchid Telecom, also known as Cloud Telecom Services, is a family-run business that’s been operating since 2003. It specialises in providing first-rate business communications services to small office/home office (SoHos) and SMEs.

Cloud Telecom Services manufactures its own range of telecoms equipment, including bespoke products for other brands to sell. The company is based in Chester and offers a range of telecom services including traditional landlines, VoIP and SIP lines, broadband, and cloud PBX solutions.

Standout features:

  • Three lines
  • Auto attendant
  • Three-party conferencing
  • Play your own hold music

A PBX multi-line system is a grade up from the key phone multi-line system. This is because it offers features such as auto attendant, multiple call handling, and auto fax detect. With the ability to take up to three calls at the same time, plus the option to add up to 8 extensions, this is the perfect phone system for expanding offices. And don’t forget – because it’s a PBX system, the auto attendant can root a call to the right department handset!


If you’d like to explore VoIP instead of analogue phone systems, check out our guide to the best VoIP phone systems for small businesses.

3.  AT&T TL88102 cordless phone

AT&T TL88102 Cordless Phone
AT&T logo
AT&T TL88102
Quick overview

AT&T is the world's largest telecommunications company by revenue, according to Fortune Global 500 rankings from 2022. In addition to providing mobile phone services, AT&T also offers internet, TV, and other communications services to both residential and business customers.

The company has a long history of innovation in the telecommunications industry, and has been at the forefront of developing and deploying new technologies, such as 5G and fibre internet.

Standout features:

  • Two lines
  • Long range between deck and handsets
  • Dual Caller ID functionality
  • Four-party conferencing

With the option to add up to 12 handsets, this is the ideal cheap multi-line phone system for small to medium sized businesses. There’s a mailbox for each line, and with dual caller ID functionality, you’ll be able to see both landline and VoIP caller numbers at the same time. Thanks to call screening and call intercepting functions, you’ll be able to pass on low priority calls. And with a high contrast LCD screen combining with DECT high quality voice and sound, using this phone in a busy office environment should be a breeze.

4. VTech CM18245 multi-line corded deskphone

VTech CM18245 multi-line Corded Deskphone
VTech logo
VTech CM18245
Quick overview

Founded in 1976, VTech is a global leader in electronic learning products and residential phones in the US. In 2000, it acquired consumer telephone business Lucent Technologies to expand its cordless phone business, increasing sales by 50%.

Today, its core products are still cordless phones and electronic learning products, but it has diversified geographically. VTech employs approximately 25,000 people in 14 countries and regions, including 1,500 R&D professionals.

Standout features:

  • Four lines
  • Auto attendant
  • Four-party conferencing
  • Start, stop, repeat, and skip recorded messages

This VTech multi-line phone system has two great features to its name. One: it’s PBX, so think auto attendant, digital answering system, and customizable hold music. Secondly: it can receive up to four phone lines. Combine this with the fact that you can expand this system by ten handsets, and you can see that it’s a great option for small businesses that receive a high volume of phone calls.

5. BT Versatility 4 line Analogue Telephone System

BT Versatility 4 line Analogue Telephone System
BT logo
BT Versatility
Quick overview

BT offers a wide range of services, including business broadband, phone services, and cloud-based phone systems. With over five million wifi hotspots, BT runs the largest wifi network in the UK.

BT’s VoIP systems are reliable, secure, and future-ready, ensuring businesses are ready for the IP switchover in 2025. Its global research and development HQ is located at Adastral Park, Ipswich, where 4,000 scientists, engineers, and IT experts collaborate to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies.

Standout features:

  • Massive extension potential
  • Auto attendant
  • Manager/secretary set up
  • Multitude of divert options

If you have a fast growing business, you’ll need a phone system that can rapidly grow with you. BT’s Versatility multi-line phone system doesn’t just stop at four lines. With the right expansion equipment, you can increase the number of lines to eight, with 16 handsets. While it doesn’t offer the same tech advantages as a VoIP phone system, this is certainly one to look at if you’re not quite ready to make a larger investment.

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Multi-line phone system guide

Key phone vs PBX phone – what’s the difference?

As we briefly mentioned at the start of the article, there are two types of multi-line phone system – key phone and PBX.

A key phone is a bog-standard phone. It doesn’t do anything particularly special feature-wise – it just has the ability to receive calls from more than one phone line. This is fine if you own a small business with a lower volume of calls, but not so great if you own a growing business, and you’re looking to pay more attention to customer experience.

Take a look at the table below to see how features between the two phone systems compare.

Handles more than two linesHandset extension kits VoicemailCall transferAuto attendantHold music Basic call reporting
Key phone
PBX phone

As you can see, the features that enable you to change the way you interact with your customers are only available on a PBX phone. So, while a multi-line PBX system is more expensive to purchase up front, you should be able to improve your customer interaction. And happy customers equals…?

Should I choose a VoIP phone system instead?

In most cases, the answer to this question would be yes. In the world of business communications, VoIP systems are now the norm, and for good reason – they’re affordable, feature-rich, easy to set up and scale, capable of handling hundreds of calls at the same time, and can be accessed and used remotely, keeping your employees communicating no matter where they’re working from.

There’s also the fact that BT plans to switch off all UK PSTN and ISDN lines (in other words, the landline) by 2025. After this point, you’ll have to choose VoIP over analogue services.

That said, if you already have the right landline infrastructure in place, you might find it easier and more cost-effective to use an analogue multi-line phone system for now – especially if you’re self-employed or a sole trader, and working from home. But be aware that these systems are quickly becoming outdated, and there are business VoIP packages available for one-person-bands.

To explore VoIP options, check out our guide to the best UK VoIP providers.

Did You Know?

You can purchase a VoIP phone system for as little as £10 per user, per month


Key phones and PBX phones certainly have their place in the business world – especially for small businesses looking to extend their phone system to cope with an increasing number of calls.

While key phones are great for small businesses with a low volume of calls, a PBX phone system is good for small businesses with a higher call volume. This is because it gives you the features you need to cope with a greater influx of calls, whether that’s an auto attendant to direct a caller straight through to the right person, or hold music to keep a caller patient while they’re waiting.

A VoIP system certainly shouldn’t be ruled out, though. While it may not be worth a home office worker investing in an entire VoIP system, companies that consist of a small group of employees should certainly consider it.

That’s because a basic VoIP system includes PBX features as standard, and cuts your call costs by allowing you to make and receive calls over the internet.

If you would like to find out how much a phone system will cost your business, fill in our form with a few details and the suppliers that best match your requirements will be in touch!

Written by:
Aimee profile image
Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems and point of sale go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about dog walking on Dorset beaches.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.