Why Businesses Are Switching to PRI Replacement Solutions

A PRI line is a physical copper circuit that connects a business phone system to the public switched telephone network. It can support up to 23 voice channels plus one channel that provides call data like a caller’s name and number.


A business’s telephony needs to expand and change as it grows. When relying on PRI, this can mean the business has to contact its provider and ask them to upgrade their service. This process can require on-site techs, which could take time and interrupt business flow. A business’s needs can be easily scaled with SIP without on-site technology. PRI is an older land-line-based phone system that offers direct connections to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). It can be used as a substitute for POTS or business lines.


PRI (Primary Rate Interface) has been around for decades, and while it’s an excellent option for some specialized use cases, the demand for it is decreasing. Businesses looking for a dependable and high-quality business phone system are increasingly choosing a PRI replacement solution like SIP trunking, which offers dramatic savings on deployment, maintenance, and scaling. Unlike SIP, PRI can’t be easily upgraded or scaled up, which will cost you money in the long run. Moreover, if you ever need to add more circuits, you must pay to install them again. In addition to the cost savings, businesses that switch to SIP are gaining more functionality than they would with a PRI. 


Scalability is a critical factor to consider when choosing the right solution for your business. Typically, a scalable system is designed to handle increased workloads and new features without performance issues. PRI, which stands for primary rate interface, is an established telecommunications technology that can transmit up to 23 separate communications at the same time. This allows businesses to communicate simultaneously via phone, video conference, or data transfers. However, PRI requires users to purchase additional PRI circuits to scale up their systems. This can be a costly process, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.

Engineers should keep their tech stacks simple and lightweight to avoid scalability issues. This way, they can easily update and change features as their needs evolve.


When using telephony, businesses must ensure that high-profile, critical calls remain high-quality and reliable. PRI trunking provides this through dedicated, private lines and is considered the more reliable of the two options.

PRIs use physical copper phone lines to connect a business site with the public switched telephone network (PSTN). One circuit can support up to 23 voice channels plus one data channel for call-related functionality like caller ID. While a single circuit can handle 23 communications, it’s more common for businesses to assign multiple users to the same circuit. This opens up the possibility of 23 voice or data transfers happening simultaneously, which may cause the line to drop out of service or get bogged down with jitters and losses. Another great feature of PRIs is their ability to provide a separate number for each department or agent in an organization, allowing a customer or stakeholder to contact that department easily. PRIs include automatic call distribution (ACD) facilities, automatically distributing incoming calls to the next available free line without a busy tone.


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