Tag Archives: PRI

Is SIP Trunking or PRI better for your Business?

PRIToday’s telecom market allows companies access to a numerous types of business phone systems, two of which are SIP Trunking and PRI. While some may consider the two indistinguishable, they have differences in terms of versatility, equipment, and cost.

What is PRI?

PRI is more of a traditional form of business phone system communications. It relies on the Public Switched Telephone Network and requires a circuit switch and physical phone line. Each line has 23 voice channels in order to handle simultaneous calls. You purchase additional connections per circuit of 23 channels at an additional cost. In other words, if you want to up your call capacity, you will have to install more lines.

What is SIP Trunking?

The biggest difference between PRI and SIP Trunking is that the former connects virtually to the aforementioned Public Switched Telephone Network. It routes all your VoIP calls through the Internet as opposed to through a physical line. Arguably the best thing about SIP Trunking is that you can combine data, voice, and video in one line and does not limit the amount of voice channels you can use.

SIP Trunking is also more cost efficient than PRI; SIP connections are sold as per call path. If you need to increase call volume you purchase more SIP Trunks (each one allows for 2-3 users).

Major Differences Between PRI and SIP Trunking

PRI requires you to pay per-minute fees if you want to make long distance phone calls. SIP Trunking, on the other hand, permits you unlimited local and long distance calls.


As mentioned, PRI requires a physical phone line with 23 voice channels. If you want to expand your business you have to install additional lines. SIP Trunking doesn’t require new hardware if you want to grow your business.


If you want additional features with PRI, you have to pay extra. SIP Trunking, however, has customizable features at no additional cost.

Our Conclusion

In terms of equipment, versatility, and cost, SIP Trunking is almost certainly the better choice for your business’s telecommunications. If you have any business phone system questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on LinkedIn.

PRI, DID, SIP Broken Down

If your phone line contracts are soon expiring with an existing carrier, there are many alternative options available depending on the volume of phone calls that need to be accommodated, and what services are provided in your specific geographical location. 

If you are a smaller company that does not require a great deal of call volume, individual telephone lines should be sufficient for your business. However, if your call volume dictates that you need as many as 10-12 or more paths for simultaneous conversations, it may be more efficient and economical to have your voice paths delivered by a digital or IP service. If your business requires individual phone numbers (DID) for each person within the company, or if you depend heavily on multi-party conference calls, an alternative to analog telephone lines should be considered. If you have special needs for your Internet bandwidth in addition to your dial tone, there are combination services using digital or IP delivery which would work as well.

Many carriers provide dial tone via digital PRI circuits. A PRI (Primary Rate Interface) will provide you with inbound and/or outbound phone calls and provide as many telephone numbers as you may need for Direct Inward Dialing. This becomes economically advantageous if you are already paying for 12 or more individual phone lines.

If you do not have a high call volume, but still have a need for Direct Inward Dialing phone numbers, SIP Trunks are another delivery option. SIP trunks are able to provide dial tone via IP to your business telephone system, and can customize the amount of call paths to meet your needs. SIP trunks can be a more economical option even if you have fewer than 12 individual phone lines.

As you can see, there are alternatives to basic analog telephone lines that can be very attractive options.

Advanced Communication Systems Featured Product: Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Businesses

Cisco has released a product designed specifically to improve the communication efficiency of small businesses. The Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series is simple, affordable, and easy to manage. This solution eliminates multiple servers and combines voice, data, voicemail, Automated Attendant, video, security, and wireless capabilities.

Additional Benefits of the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series

  • Integrates with existing desktop applications such as calendar, e-mail, and customer relationship management (CRM) programs.
  • Supports up to 50 users in flexible deployment models based on your needs.
  • Call processing capability is included and enabled via Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express.
  • Automated attendant and integrated voicemail are included and enabled via Cisco Unity Express software.
  • The Unified Communications 500 Series is expandable by adding the Cisco Catalyst Express 520 Series companion switches.

Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business and the Cisco Catalyst Express 520 are integral parts of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System, a complete system of voice, data, video, and wireless networking products for small businesses. This system provides companies with a new way to communicate, enabling secure access to information anytime and anywhere, while helping people to work together more efficiently and effectively.

Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series Features

  • Eight IP phone station support
  • Four trunks
  • Optional T1/E1 voice interface (PRI and CAS)
  • Integrated voicemail
  • Automated attendant
  • Basic call center capability
  • Music on hold
  • Optional wireless access
  • System management

If you have any questions about the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series for Small Business or any of the other Advanced Communication Systems products, please contact us by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

About Advanced Communication Systems:

Advanced Communication Systems is a National vendor of, Avaya and Cisco telecommunications products. ACS offers solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your business’s communications investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VoIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider.

ACS has experience in every major industry sector and business size, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

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