SIP Trunks and PRI Lines
Choosing between PRI lines and SIP Trunks can be a challenge for any company. Both offer digital telephony and improved voice services, but for some businesses, the newer SIP Trunks may offer significant cost-savings.
What is a PRI line?
PRI, or Primary Rate Interface, follows a telephone-based switched circuit model to provide offices with telecommunication services, including hosted phone systems. One T1 line carries 23 channels that can be reassigned as necessary for special situations, such as video conferences.
What are the benefits of a PRI line?
Physically, only one line comes into the customer PBX (private branch exchange), combining voice and data on the premises. Each user is connected directly to the telephone company’s central office. Most PBX systemscontain a PRI port or can accommodate an adapter easily, and adding more phone lines is a simple matter of physically connecting another cable for an additional 23 channels.
Since PRI lines have been in use longer than SIP Trunks, PRI lines have proven their reliability. They also do not depend on Internet connectivity, which can be spotty in some areas.
What is an SIP Trunk?
SIP Trunking (Session Initiated Protocol) provides Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services and media to customers with an SIP-based PBX. Unified Communications software is used for streaming media applications such as web conferencing and desktop sharing. SIP Trunks utilize the network concept of packet switching, or sending grouped signals down a single pipeline rather than physical circuits.
What are the benefits of an SIP Trunk?
By using networking to combine voice and data, SIP Trunks can connect business locations to expand a company’s geographic voice and data system. Since the connections are virtual, adding more phone lines only requires updating the software configuration; the limiting factor is the available bandwidth rather than physical circuits or hardware.
In addition, a company can configure its SIP Trunk to transmit to an Internet service provider. This permits bringing in both telephone lines and broadband Internet service on the same SIP Trunk for significant cost savings.
- Both PRI lines and SIP Trunks use digital telephony to offer expanded services such as voice conferencing, web conferencing, and desktop sharing.
- PRI lines utilize physical connections that have demonstrated dependability.
- SIP Trunks leverage the capacity of an Internet connection, enabling expansion of a business’ voice and data network as well as combining telephony and Internet services for potential cost savings.
Interested in installing a hosted phone system for your business? Contact us today to get started!