When your establishment is looking into investing in a reliable and capable phone service, it comes down to two basic options; SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and PRI (Primary Rate Interface). Both are meant to allow your business to make multiple calls over a line. The differences between the two solutions can be found in the way in which both operate and relay data.

(SIP) Session Initiating Protocol

SIP essentially works on a virtual level and runs on the network that a company already has in place and uses that network to control and relay multimedia communications. Because SIP only truly requires an internet connection, it typically costs less than PRI. Most popular usage of Session Initiation Protocol is SIP Trunking which allows a business to make simultaneous VoIP calls, instant messaging over IP networks, and video conferencing. The speed of your SIP trunk all depends on the strength and the capacity of the network service provider as well as the amount of bandwidth available at the time the communications session took place. It's also important to keep in mind that when a SIP path is not in use, the bandwidth that it would have used to relay data is freed up.

Another thing to keep in mind is that SIP connections are sold per path and can be done in any increments. Installation and implementation can also be accomplished in a matter of hours to a few days, therefore, barely causing any sort of hindrance to the operations of your business.

SIP utilizes DID (Direct Inward Dialing) phone numbers that can be local or out of area phone numbers which is definite plus because it helps cut long distance costs. This also comes in handy when a business has multiple locations and would prefer to have all their numbers stay the same regardless of the location of the office.

(PRI) Primary Rate Interface

PRI, on the other hand, is not run on a virtual level like SIP. It works with a single, physical phone line connecting to a business's telephony system, and because PRI is a physical phone line it requires a more rigorous and expensive installation. With PRI, you can typically purchase a line that allows a total of 23 simultaneous call paths. This restrictive number of call paths can cause some issues because it requires businesses to plan ahead of time. If, in the future, your business needs more call paths, a new PRI connection is needed with a whole new set of 23 call paths.

PRI can also utilizes DID phone numbers like SIP. However, these DID phone numbers are only local to the area the service.

..And the winner is..

PRI is the traditional option. It used to be the go to solution for businesses. And even to this day plenty of businesses still use PRI. However, SIP offers more wiggle room, more customization, more opportunities to communicate, is relatively cheaper, and overall offers better quality communication. It is also growing in popularity now because of all the benefits it offers over PRI.

SIP is the winner!

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