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Bye, Bye American PRI: What’s your T1 end-of-life plan?

Continuant
October 25, 2022

As the end-of-life for Primary Rate Interface (PRI) draws near, many organizations are making the move to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology for their calling needs. Here's what you need to know about making the switch—and how the Continuant Hybrid Calling solution offers enterprise businesses a clear path forward…well before that levee runs dry.

What is PRI?

PRI is a type of ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) that provides voice and data over a single connection. As an end-to-end digital circuit, PRI lines have been the gold (or should we say copper?) standard for voice connectivity and business phone systems for nearly forty years.

T-carrier (or T1), which is the transmission most common in North America, will no longer receive support from most US-based carriers after 2025. While the exact end-of-life date for PRI remains unclear, most vendors have announced that they are phasing out its production.

For most organizations, the time to embrace change is now. And that change is being marked by the widespread adoption of SIP-enabled voice technology.

What is SIP?

SIP is a protocol that allows calls to be made over the internet. It's more flexible than PRI and offers a number of advantages over copper landlines, such as the ability to scale up or down as needed, easier integration with other systems, and allows organizations to leverage the same network infrastructure it uses for other business applications for more efficient and streamlined management.

What are the Benefits of Using SIP and SIP trunks?

1. Reduced costs: Since SIP uses an internet connection instead of traditional phone lines, it can help businesses save on their telecom expenses. There’s no need for cost-prohibitive new hardware upgrades and ongoing maintenance costs are much lower. In addition, many organizations can reduce the number of telephony trunks—as they centralize—and realize more cost savings over time.

2. Unrivaled scalability: Since SIP uses software instead of hardware, it is much easier to scale up or down as your business needs change. With SIP trunks, phone calls, video conferencing, instant messaging (and other unified communication-centric interactions) take place via the internet. This eliminates the need for your organization to buy more physical lines when you want to add more numbers or increase the number of concurrent calls that can take place.

3. Improved reliability: Since SIP uses data networks instead of traditional phone lines, it is less likely to be affected by power outages or other disruptions. With geo-redundant cloud-availability things like system failure due to interference with physical landlines will be a thing of the past.

4. Greater flexibility: Thanks to its software-based nature, SIP can be easily integrated with other business applications. This allows businesses to streamline their communications and make them more efficient—and with easier collaboration employees can be more productive too.

5. Next Gen Security: SIP can be encrypted like other Internet protocols (https, etc.) keeping voice traffic even more secure than with traditional phone lines.

Why Should I Switch to SIP?

First and foremost, PRI is being phased out of existence. Being proactive today—and making the switch to SIP—sets your organization up for success down the road. By future-proofing your voice technology, you’re creating a more unified communication and collaboration environment at your organization.

Additionally, if you're still using PRI, you may be paying more than you need to for your calling needs. Oftentimes, when making the move from PRI to SIP, organizations discover that they were massively overpaying for lines of connection—as, they discover, many employees use calling for internal purposes rather than external phone calls outside their network.

How Do I Make The Switch to SIP?

The first step is to contact Continuant and let us know that you're interested in switching to SIP. Our Hybrid Calling solution will get you set up with SIP trunks so that you don’t have to worry about the impending end-of-life for PRI. Our team of voice engineers and enterprise calling experts will be able to quickly determine if SIP is right for your business and guide you step-by-step through the process of making the switch.

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