migration illustration from PRI to SIP

6 Things to Know About Migrating From PRI to SIP

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Primary Rate Interface or PRI has been around for quite some time now and has been used as the standard technology for delivering phone service over the internet. Due to the fast-changing world, this is not the case anymore. Much better technology has come in place that offers more features and functionality.

The introduction of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) virtually renders RIP inferior. SIP technology manages multimedia communications allowing businesses to do more than just make calls or video. The traditional RIP has a restriction of 23 concurrent transmissions of voice, data, or video while SIP allows more sessions.

The complexities between SIP and RIP can be better understood by first looking at their strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to learn more about SIP and PRI and what migrating means.

What are SIP and PRI?

PRI is an end-to-end digital communications connection technology that guarantees 23 concurrent transmissions of either voice video or data traffic. PRI has made VoIP possible for a very long time but VoIP is not used to PRI alone. With PRI VoIP enjoys 23 lines for voice with 64Kpbs on each line.

For PRI communication, there are distinct lines that do not work together. The line used for voice is very different from the lines used for data or video conferencing.

What is a SIP Phone System?

The session-initiated protocol system works in a different and more efficient way than PRI. With SIP, communication lines are initiated on demand. Unlike the traditional PRI, SIP allows users to make reliable internet calls relying entirely on internet technology.

Unlike the traditional PRI where concurrent functions are limited, SIP allows multimedia communications concurrently. This means that calls can be made while video conferencing is happening.

Is SIP Required for VoIP?

VoIP does not necessarily rely on SIP alone. There are many other internet protocols including PRI that can facilitate VoIP calls. Even so, SIP is a widely used internet protocol due to the benefits it offers to users. As a result, many companies that use VoIP are either considering or have already shifted from PRI to SIP.

Factors to Consider When Moving from PRI to SIP

The transition from PRI to SIP is necessary and most companies will have to switch the plug at some point. The efficiency brought about by SIP cannot be ignored by any company that targets smooth customer service and operations. While transitioning is okay, key considerations have to be made when making the move.

Below are the factors to consider when transitioning from PRI to SIP:

SIP Interoperability

The first factor to consider is whether SIP is going to interop with the available equipment. The one big problem with SIP is that it is interpreted differently by different carriers. For instance, if the current carrier supports certain features which are available on your current device, there might be a problem when a change happens.

Shifting to a carrier that does not provide the same features may prove problematic. Make sure the available system can work with the new carrier.

Updating Switches and Caller ID

When switching from PRI to SIP, remember to update caller ID and address switches. If the switch is not addressed properly, callers may not be able to go through when they try to make a call. Further, if the caller ID is not updated, a different name may show up when callers try to make a call. This can be detrimental for a business.

Hosted PBX Option

Before shifting from PRI to SIP, consider the Hosted PBX option that can be used to leverage the benefits of SIP. Instead of going through an extensive process of updating hardware, just use PBX as a service to bring in the benefits of SIP without investing money into equipment.

SBC is Required

The Session Border Controller (SBC) helps control the types of calls received and calls made. SBC receives the dialing tones from the phone and ultimately routes them to the required place. The problem with SBC is that it can also act as a firewall, blocking some calls. Further, it comes at an extra cost, which can be a problem if not planned for.

Software Apps and Functionality

SIP integrates data, voice, and video in such a way that the system can offer more functionality. Unlike PRI where voice uses independent lines from data or video, SIP transmits all types of data in the same manner. This allows new features that companies can use to improve functionality and provide more satisfactory results.

Rich Conference Calling

Because SIP combines phone service and Internet Protocol, there is a much richer multimedia experience that allows companies to promote work. Video conferences on SIP allow screen sharing, whiteboards, etc.

The Benefits of Migrating to SIP

There are many benefits of switching to SIP and more companies should consider this option. Among the benefits include cost-cutting, smoother employee operations, and more integration with CRM.