SIPTRUNK BLOG

PRI vs SIP Trunking: What’s the Difference?

Pri vs sip

PRI (Public Rate Interface) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking are two different ways in which you can connect your business to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). 

According to the Gartner Report, businesses could reduce their monthly telecommunication expenses by up to 50% by switching to SIP trunking. 

Check out our PRI vs SIP guide to learn which phone system is right for your business.

What is PRI Trunking?

It can be very confusing when you’re just starting out and deciding which business phone system you should use. Primary Rate Interface is the traditional phone system which has been widely used since the 1980s. 

PRI uses the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) to deliver multiple lines of voice and data through one physical line of the business’s Private Branch Exchange (PBX). 

PRI is considered to be a high capacity service that is carried on T1 trunk lines between your location and the telco central offices.

PRI technology is now considered to be old school; it requires physical hardware and needs to be serviced from a telco for troubleshooting and upgrading.

Advantages of PRI

Many believe that PRI has a better overall call quality because it isn’t a network technology. 

Another advantage of PRI is that it’s a more secure telecommunication method. Due to PRI being on a private telephone network, the calls are not subjected to potential interference such as internet hackers. 

Disadvantages of PRI

A clear disadvantage of PRI is that it doesn’t offer flexibility. If you want to add a new phone line or there is a problem with the lines, then you need to get your PRI provider to come to your workplace and make the changes.

What is SIP Trunking?

Similarly to PRI, SIP also allows a business to place and receive phone calls. However, SIP trunks work by delivering voice calls via the internet. A SIP network uses network technology as opposed to telephone technology (like PRI). 

Once again, similar to PRI, SIP allows you to have multiple voice lines within an organization. 

SIP trunking is virtual, so you don’t need to have additional hardware. Businesses don’t need to already have an existing PBX, as most SIP providers offer a hosted PBX.

Advantages of SIP

Many businesses enjoy SIP providers because they are flexible.

If you want to add a new line to your business, you can easily make a request to your provider. SIP providers are able to quickly add new lines or troubleshoot any problems you might have, virtually. 

Another advantage of SIP trunking is that there is no hardware. This means that there aren’t any upfront costs for hardware and you can get to work straight away once it is set up. 

Often SIP is much cheaper than PRI and it also offers easy-to-use administration portals for easy management. 

Another advantage of SIP trunking is that it can be integrated with existing PRI trunks. Making it ideal if you want to upgrade, or have both PRI and SIP trunks.

Disadvantages of SIP

A big disadvantage of SIP trunking is that if your internet goes, then so does the ability to use your phone lines.

However, there are ways around this, such as introducing a failover internet connection to your business. 

Learn more about SIP and discover who the best SIP providers are in 2019.

How to Choose Between PRI and SIP?

If you are looking for a cost-effective phone system then SIP might be right for you. SIP trunking allows you to add features, place national and international calls, and scale your system at a cheaper fraction than PRI does.

If informative security is high up on your priorities when choosing your phone system, then SIP with a secure network plan might be right for you.

Many people believe PRI is the most secure phone system, which it is if you don’t have a secure network. However, if your business has employees with expert knowledge of network security, then SIP trunks can also be secure. 

If flexibility is a must in your company, then SIP trunking is definitely for you. Organizations who rely on SIP can add new lines when needed and remove them just as easily if they are no longer needed. 

Not only does SIP provide flexibility with the ability to add and remove lines, but it also provides flexibility with usage paid billing. This means you only pay for what you need.

Finally, if you need a reliable phone system you could benefit from SIP, or you could benefit from both SIP and PRI. 

Some businesses prefer to only use SIP. According to a study produced by The Eastern Management Group, 13% of businesses use SIP for 100% of their WAN traffic. 

Combining SIP with a reliable, fiber-optic internet connection is a must if you want to have a reliable SIP service. As is finding a SIP provider who provides mobile failover. 

Whilst other businesses prefer to have a hybrid approach and use both SIP and PRI to ensure complete reliability. 

PRI vs SIP: Which One is Best?

So, PRI vs SIP: which is the best one for you? It depends on your business.

Some businesses prefer PRI, whilst others prefer SIP instead.

It all comes down to what your business wants. Identify your organization’s goals, and figure out which technology is right for your business’s communication needs.

Remember to do thorough research into which telephone system is best for you and your business. Compare what different SIP and PRI providers are offering and get the best deal. 

We have a number of SIP Trunking options available for your business, so get in touch today to find out how we can help you.