SIP or PRI: Which one is more reliable and cost-effective for your business VoIP solution in Canada?

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SIP or PRI: Which one is more reliable and cost-effective for your business VoIP solution in Canada?

You choose the business VoIP solution to eliminate the problems you are facing in business communication. But the complexity of VoIP creates more challenges – if you do not understand and solve that complexity! 

Businesses planning to deploy a VoIP solution struggle most to decide between SIP and PRI. Considering the fact that SIP and PRI play a crucial role in the VoIP solution and they also influence the VoIP solution budget, a business needs to decide between SIP and PRI very precisely. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything about SIP and PRI including their pros & cons and their best use cases, so that you can comprehend which one is the most suitable for you. But to understand the difference between SIP and PRI more rationally, we first need to know the architecture of the VoIP system and the role of SIP and PRI.

How does VoIP work and what is the role of SIP and PRI?

The VoIP system consists of major 3 components – SIP or PRI, IP phone and conventional phones. SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) or PRI (Primary Rate Interface) performs the same tasks but with different methods. They both carry voice, data, and video traffic. To deploy the VoIP system, you have to buy a SIP or PRI line through the telco carriers. They charge you based on the number of lines you purchase. 

This SIP or PRI line connects to the IP phone. You can customize the IP phone to receive, make and route the calls to conventional phones of the organization. And for that, you need to establish the connection between the IP phones and other conventional phones of your organization. 

So, now after knowing the architecture of the VoIP system, you might have identified the significance of SIP and PRI in the VoIP system. In the next section of this blog, let’s discuss the major difference between SIP and PRI and which one is the more reliable and cost-effective communication technology for your business VoIP solution. 

➤ What is the PRI line?

PRI is the voice technology, businesses have been using since early 1980. It is widely used to deliver voice and other data into businesses’ PBX (Private Branch Exchange) through one physical line. This physical line is called a circuit. 

One PRI circuit includes 23 voice channels. Meaning, you can make 23 calls at the given moment. It also includes one additional channel to support call-related functionalities like Caller ID. A PRI is a high capacity service that telco carriers set out between their central offices and your location. Generally, they deploy PRI circuits in the form of T1 lines. A T1 line carries voice and data via 24 digital channels.

⇢ Advantages of PRI line

  • Since PRI is not a network technology, it does not rely on the data bandwidth.
  • Since the data is transferred through physical lines, the voice call quality is superior.
  • It is also a more secure telecommunication method as the data does not expose to the Internet.

⇢ Disadvantages of PRI line

  • Since many hardware components are involved in the PRI set up, it is more expensive. 
  • To support more than 23 calls at the given moment, you need to install another PRI line. 
  • To maintain the PRI line which involves many hardware components, you need to spend more. 

➜ When should you use PRI? – The best use cases

  • If you are lacking access to high-speed Internet, you should use PRI. 
  • If you are having fewer requirements than 23 calls at the given moment, you should use PRI. 

➤ What is SIP?

SIP is the modern voice technology, eliminating the problems businesses are facing in the PRI line. In SIP, the data is transferred over the Internet. Since SIP follows the networking protocols, like HTTP and SMTP, it is called network technology rather than telephone technology. SIP sets real-time sessions of audio calls and even video calls between two endpoints through the Internet. 

A SIP trunk is the virtual version of the circuit. Using SIP trunks, the SIP providers connect multiple channels to your PBX which allows you to make outbound calls without restrictions on the number of concurrent calls. (Only your Internet bandwidth can affect the number of concurrent calls.)

The cost of SIP depends heavily on the number of trunks you use. For one trunk, you have to pay somewhere between $25-$50 per month.

Advantages of SIP

  • SIP saves your business telephony cost by 40% as it does not require an aggressive hardware setup. 
  • Because of its minimal upfront investment cost, you can get excellent ROI.
  • It is scalable technology and offers you extreme flexibility.
  • It includes a dashboard for easy management. 
  • You can connect SIP to PRI to achieve a hybrid phone system.

⇢ Disadvantages of SIP

  • You cannot make and receive calls if there is no Internet.
  • If there is less Internet bandwidth, you can not get a clear voice on the calls.
  • Since data is transferred over the Internet, hackers can take access to your calls.

➜ When should you use SIP? – The best use cases

  • When you want to save money on long-distance and international outbound calling. 
  • When you want to support remote workers. 
  • When you have sufficient internet bandwidth. 
  • When you have a dedicated budget for security solutions. 
  • When you want to add or remove the lines based on real-time demand. 


In the nutshell:

Though both PRI and SIP execute the same task, their different execution methods influence the way you manage the calls and money you pay for the VoIP solution. While PRI works without the Internet and offers you security, SIP enables you to save costs and offers a dashboard for easy management. Both communication technologies have their own pros and cons. So, based on your business requirements and business goals, you can opt for one which meets all of your requirements. 

You can also seek help from SyS Creations. We are the top business VoIP solution provider in Canada. After taking your business infrastructure, requirements, and goals into account, we suggest the best communication technology. 

We also leverage the VoIP technologies and customize the VoIP solutions to provide you with personalized business telephony experience. After VoIP solution deployment, we assign a dedicated support team for you. You can anytime contact this support team if you encounter any error.  

To know more about VoIP, share your requirements, and get a personalized quote, feel free to contact us. Our one of the senior team members will contact you back and give you the free consultation.

Let’s talk

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