sip trunking vs pri

SIP Trunking vs PRI

When deciding on a trunking option for delivering voice and data into businesses, IT policy makers have two main options from which to select. SIP (session initiation protocol) provides the same service as a conventional analog phone line, except it is done through a virtual connection rather than a physical wire. PRI (primary rate interface) is a single phone line which provides 23 voice channels and one data/control channel.

While the two options may seem similar on first glance, a closer inspection shows that there are key differences between them, as outlined below.

SIP vs PRI: The main differences

  • SIP connections are virtual; PRI connections are physical
  • SIP upscaling is a far quicker, easier process than with PRI
  • SIP is usually the more cost efficient option of the two
  • Adding capacity to an SIP trunk is quite straightforward, whereas it a timely process with PRI
  • It is far easier to divert calls with SIP than PRI
  • PRI, however, has a guaranteed quality of service which you won’t always get with SIP

The infographic below has been created by Irish Telecom ( and differentiates between SIP and PRI in an easily understandable fashion, outlining which is the better option for certain business circumstances.


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