What Is a SIP Trunk to PRI Gateway?

A SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunk to PRI (Primary Rate Interface) gateway, also known as a SIP trunk to PRI converter, connects today's SIP trunking phone service to legacy PRI phone systems so you can keep older equipment that is still functional. It helps businesses sign up for a new phone service while bringing in their old phones. Many organizations still have these phone systems but want to begin using VoIP service through SIP trunking. Thanks to SIP trunk to PRI gateways, this is possible to do.

This can be an economical solution for businesses with a lot of equipment to update or a need to wait for major equipment investments. Discover why you need a SIP Trunk to PRI Gateway.

What is a PRI system?

PRI systems rely on T1 lines to deliver voice and data and have been available since the 1980s. These systems use old hardware designs that were widely used in a variety of industries until SIP and other new systems became more common for business. In order to use PRI systems, you needed service delivered via these T1 lines to your office from a local telecom company. T1 lines have a higher data capacity than the landline wiring commonly installed in homes, so they were very popular with businesses who often dealt with high call volumes.

The Differences Between a PRI and SIP Trunk

While a SIP trunk is entirely virtual, PRI connections are actual hardware. They required a specially-installed line placed in office buildings to carry the additional data required for a call center to operate. As such, this was typically a service larger businesses with high call volumes would use, such as telemarketers or the customer service departments of large enterprises.

SIP trunks, in contrast, are networking technology that exist on the Internet. They don't require a separate physical line. Instead, they can "live" on existing infrastructure in place to deliver Internet service. It's easy to switch vendors because there's no dedicated physical line linked to the phone company that needs to be disconnected, and there's usually no need to install special wiring to add SIP trunks.

What Is a PRI Gateway?

A PRI gateway translates SIP to something old technology can understand and use. It allows your organization to save money and gain a functional phone system or change phone service providers. SIP is a type of networking language, which means PRI gateways work by feeding the equipment information in the right format, so the data looks like it would arriving over an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network).

Benefits of a SIP Trunk to PRI Gateway for My Business

If you have older hardware that relies on PRI standards, a SIP trunk to PRI gateway could buy you some additional time with the hardware. Without a PRI to SIP gateway, you'd have to purchase new equipment, which could be a major investment for organizations with a lot of phone infrastructure and equipment around. This way, you can use a PRI to SIP gateway to help with gradually phasing-in newer phone equipment that uses SIP or you could wait to invest in new technology later on.

Using a PRI to SIP gateway might also be a helpful strategy for companies that are skeptical of SIP and want to make sure the service is right for their business before making the leap and purchasing a new phone system. Or, businesses that aren't sure what phone technology is the best fit and want to take the time to try different types of phones on a smaller scale while using older equipment for most departments' telecommunications needs.

Find the Right Telecommunications Technology

SIP trunk to PRI gateway equipment can help your business get more value out of older equipment. PRI systems have been around since the 1980s but are being phased out by newer phone systems. For some organizations, using a SIP trunk to PRI gateways is the best solution. These converters can help you wait for a future phone equipment investment, new budget in a different quarter or fiscal year, or for a more thorough decision about your phone system.

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