PRI vs SIP: A Comparison of Old Technology vs New

Businesses used to manage their voice calls with Public Branch Exchange (PBX) systems. Calls transmitted over PRI or landlines came into a central switchboard where an operator connected the call to its end destination. They were expensive, not easily scalable, and required physical labor and equipment to install. They also required a person trained in the system to operate them.  

Related: SIP Technology: How It Changes the Game for Today’s Businesses

SIP heralded the end of this unwieldy and outdated telephony method. In addition to providing businesses with substantial cost savings by eliminating the need for expensive PRIs, SIP is also extremely flexible and easily capable of scaling to meet the growing demands of companies large and small. Thanks to these benefits and many more, PRI is now considered by many to be an outdated technology reminiscent of a bygone era.PRI vs SIP for Effective and Affordable Communication

In a world filled with acronyms and ever-advancing technology, it can be challenging to remember what each one means, much less know which is outdated and which is current. One such example is PRI vs SIP. While each one enables communication, the differences are stark and substantial.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a set of rules that enables Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology where voice, data, messaging, and video can be transmitted over an internet connection. Primary rate interface (PRI), on the other hand, is a telephony standard used for over 40 years. Each PRI line is comprised of a pair of copper wires that enable communication between two points. Think of SIP as the modern telecommunication version of WiFi versus the old dial-up connections

The Differences Between PRI and SIP

PRI is a circuit that provides 23 voice paths or channels as well as one signaling channel. PRI directly connects to the PSTN via a physical line. Though the call quality is typically clear, it requires substantial hardware, cables, and costs, such as long-distance or international calling fees. If a business needs to move or expand, the costs could skyrocket, a situation that is not ideal for today’s dynamic business environments.

SIP trunks are call paths over a broadband internet connection. Think of them as virtual phone lines. Unlike PRI, there is no hardware to install, so it provides businesses with a cost-effective, customizable, and reliable data and telephony system. Scaling up as your business expands is as simple as logging into your dashboard to make the change.  

Let’s look at some of the many advantages related to SIP.

SIP is More Cost-Efficient

One of the most notable differences between PRI vs SIP is the cost. SIP providers make their services available on-demand, meaning you pay only for the capacity or channels you need. With PRI, even new or small businesses had to pay the same amount as larger companies to install each physical phone line. There were very few options for phone plans, as well.

SIP is a welcome change for businesses, particularly those on limited budgets. SIP providers not only offer per-channel plans but also have an array of optional add-on functionality available at a low cost. Compared to PRI, SIP can save businesses as much as 30-40% on their communication needs.

SIP Provides a Virtual Connection

While PRI establishes a physical connection that requires each circuit to be connected via cables and the use of expensive termination hardware, SIP connections are virtual. Rather than being limited by frustrating hardware restrictions, businesses utilizing SIP are only limited by the bandwidth they have available, providing much greater flexibility. Thanks to redundant networks, businesses maintain high voice quality that they rely on for efficient operations.

SIP Is Easily Scalable

When comparing PRI vs SIP, It’s important to note that additional capacity for PRI required weeks of advance planning to order and install new termination hardware and circuits. However, increasing capacity with SIP is as simple as making a quick and easy software change. With SIP, there is also only a single network to manage along with the necessary bandwidth. SIP trunks can also be grouped at one specific company location or shared in multiple locations across a company, allowing them to efficiently leverage economies of scale.

Another important distinction with SIP is the option to scale your system down as needed. For seasonal businesses, this is a critical and necessary function. Since most SIP providers offer on-demand service, reducing capacity is as easy as changing your plan in your dashboard. When it is time to ramp your business back up for the busy season, scaling up is just as easy. 

SIP is Ideal for Disaster Recovery Situations

Every company needs a robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan. SIP plays a pivotal role in keeping your business connected when unanticipated disruptive events occur. While it is possible to divert calls to other locations with PRI in the event of an accident, it is a complex and expensive process. SIP technology, on the other hand, allows businesses to automatically reroute their calls to other locations should one location get knocked offline by a natural disaster or other events.

SIP Can Increase Productivity

Unlike PRI, SIP can enable Unified Communications (UC) via cloud technology. Unified communications are a cost-efficient way to increase communication, collaboration, and productivity within your organization.

Related: How Does Cloud SIP Trunking Differ From Traditional SIP Trunking?

UC is a platform that combines multiple technologies and software applications on a subscription basis. It can connect your staff with their work, clients, and peers from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection, enabling efficient operations no matter where your business or employees are located.

Modernize Your Business Communications With SIP

Like your business, technology is constantly evolving. Having a seamless and affordable way to keep up with changes in both makes all the difference in your day-to-day operations. Modern companies are often spread out among different offices, with workers contributing from their homes, on the road, at client locations, or alternating offices. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar, completely virtual company, or a hybrid of both, your communications should enable you to serve your customers, empower your employees, and connect with your vendors across geographies.

Just like the days of the switchboard operator, rotary phones, and dial-up connections, the days of PRI have come and gone. SIP is simply much more cost-effective, flexible, and easy to manage. It provides a completely customizable telecommunications experience and opens the door for transforming the way your company does business, giving you a competitive advantage. Get started today to find out how SIP.US makes choosing SIP over PRI the best decision for your growing company.

Free SIP Trunk in 60 Seconds

Related Posts

Supercharge Your Team Communication with the Ultimate Sip Phone Solution

September 27, 2023

Supercharge Your Team Communication with the Ultimate SIP Phone Solution Are you tired of juggling…

Read More

Upgrade Your Business Communication with High-Quality SIP Trunks

September 27, 2023

Dive into the future of business communication with SIP Trunking, an innovation that offers superior…

Read More

Unlock the Power of Seamless Communication: Discover the Best SIP Trunk Provider

September 20, 2023

In today’s fast-paced digital environment, communication is at the heart of every successful business. Therefore,…

Read More