SIP vs PRI Review

Both SIP and PRI are popular protocols to deliver voice and data into a telecommunications network. PRI is much older than SIP and is essentially a telephony technology, while SIP is more of a network technology, although it is also a telephony protocol. Many businesses use SIP and many still use PRI, with strong supporters valuing the use of either technology.

In this article, we will briefly discuss these two means of transmitting phone communications and will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of each.

By the end of this piece, you should have a better idea of whether you should use PRI or SIP technology and learn some of the many benefits of SIP for today’s businesses.

Article Contents:

1. What is VoIP?

2. What are PRI and SIP?

3. PRI: Advantages and Drawbacks

4. SIP: Advantages and Drawbacks

5. Is SIP Right for My Business?

We will help you decide if you need to upgrade to SIP. If you have other questions about business phone systems, be sure and check out the other articles on our website for more information. We provide reviews, information on getting started, and guidance on choosing the right vendors and services for you.

1. What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a type of phone system that uses the Internet to transmit phone communications instead of using traditional landline networks. VoIP can help your business save money and gain access to incredible features and functionality at the same time. While traditional phone service, or plain-old telephone service (POTS) can cost a fortune every month for more advanced business features, you can obtain and quickly implement an inexpensive VoIP system and begin holding large conference calls, building your own virtual contact center, and more. You can have a call center of your own for much less than you would have expected.

SIP is one of the protocols VoIP can use to transmit phone calls and other communications data. As such, many phone service vendors recommend using SIP and can provide phones that are compatible with it. PRI, on the other hand, is a legacy system left over from traditional telephony and older business communications systems. A separate line carries voice and Internet data into and out of

2. What are PRI and SIP?

PRI and SIP are actually two very different technologies, although in some respects they are somewhat interchangeable in how they are used. Both can deliver multiple voice lines, making it easier to set up an office communications system for several numbers and extensions.

  • Primary Rate Interface (PRI)–A telephony technology that became available in the 1980s. An interface standard, it is used on Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) to transfer voice calls and data into a business Private Branch Exchange (PBX) through a single physical line, or circuit. PRI can carry a lot of high-capacity data along a T1 line to your location. PRI technology is, to a certain extent, obsolete thanks to SIP technologies. Since it is not a network technology and is a telephony technology, it is not as vulnerable as SIP is to packet loss. A small data loss can be significantly harmful in some telecommunications settings, making it important to consider PRI if you absolutely need faithful consistency in your communications.
  • Session Internet Protocol (SIP)–SIP is really a networking technology that can be deployed without additional hardware because it is all virtual, in contrast with PRI, which requires special hardware to function. Easier and cheaper to implement, SIP is often more popular but can have data loss issues that cause problems with data transmission. As a result, companies that absolutely must have perfect data transmission may find PRI to be a better choice. For most applications, though, SIP is generally sufficient.

3. PRI: Advantages and Drawbacks

In a nutshell, PRI is great for transmitting a large quantity of data faithfully. If the necessary equipment for PRI is already installed in the building where your business is located, then it may make sense to use it. Companies that actively use their phones and have a large number of phone users on the network simultaneously might also benefit more from using PRI than SIP. It is worthwhile to consider how much Internet bandwidth you have available for VoIP calls and, if there is not enough bandwidth for high-quality voice calls, consider PRI to help you get the better calls.

d growth or changes in demand size. PRI might even require a full-time IT staff if you have enough equipment and lines, since you will need to physically maintain it and upgrade or update as necessary. You can only have 23 calls active over a PRI line at once, even if you have 50 extensions or phone numbers.

4. SIP: Advantages and Drawbacks

SIP is a great protocol for cheaply building and expanding your telephony network. It does not necessarily require much maintenance and can be quickly and effectively deployed in settings where not much IT support is available on an ongoing basis to maintain SIP trunks and PBX systems. SIP is a very common and popular protocol among VoIP users, enough that a majority of VoIP vendors will actually prefer SIP protocol systems and support them already. It readily scales to changes in business needs, too.

With a potential for data loss, SIP is not the best for businesses that need absolute data fidelity in their systems. It is not as capable of handling a large amount of phone communications bandwidth at once, so if you need a way to consistently transmit phone calls and other data, then PRI could be better for your company.

5. Is SIP Right for My Business?

For many small businesses, the best option is implementing SIP. SIP is generally very high-quality, it is inexpensive and very flexible. It scales rapidly to fit changing demand, which is a common problem many small businesses deal with and they need a system that is up tho the task. SIP is also a common protocol and many VoIP phones are compatible with it.

In fact, in some cases a business will actually choose to have both SIP and PRI active. For instance, you can use PRI as a backup in case something happens to your Internet connection or if you are dealing with reliability issues. Combining the two together can help you accomplish more at your business, which is great for your productivity and can help protect your organization just in case something happens. If you have an outage with your service, your phone provider can provide access to keep your phone systems running through the PRI line. Thankfully, you can have the access you need to keep everything running.

If you are not sure if SIP or PRI is right for you, begin by looking at how you use the phone system you currently have. Decide if the phone system meets your needs or if you need another system altogether. Make a list of the features you are looking for, decide if you need access to better-protected phone systems or if you really need to have full use of your phones at all times and if you need to protect against data loss.