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CENTRal EXchange. Telephone company service that obviates the need of buying, maintaining, and upgrading a private branch exchange (PBX). Basically, Centrex service consists of ordinary trunk-lines to which several features are added by the phone company. These features include the common four (call conferencing, call forwarding, call waiting, and speed calling) and others such as call accounting, caller ID, call hold, call transfer, direct inward dialing, intercom, least cost routing, etc. Although more economical than a PBX system, Centrex requires special telephone equipment for exploiting its features.

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