Which Type of Phone Service Is Best for Your Business?


You have several options when selecting a phone service and there are a few things you should know about each type of service in order to make an educated decision. Let us help by defining each of these options and comparing them to each other, so you can choose wisely.


POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is the original phone service delivered over copper wires using analog transmission from a customer’s location to the phone company’s central office. POTS was the standard service provided by telephone companies from 1876 until 1988. 


PRI (Primary Rate Interface) was first introduced in 1988 and is still popular with traditional service providers. Until recently, it was the standard for providing telecommunication services to businesses.


SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is an alternative to PRI and POTS. SIP utilizes a network connection to run voice traffic over the same lines used for internet and email functions and it has been commercially available since the early 2000s


Many phone systems today still use POTS or PRI. SIP Trunking and PRI circuits are both technologies used to connect a business phone system to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). SIP supports communication over the internet and PRIs are circuit switched and used primarily as a dedicated phone line to connect directly to the PSTN.



The benefit of a PRI is that there is a dedicated line to carry each phone call, but since PRI and POTS lines are both limited by their bandwidth, SIP provides a higher-quality connection.


SIP Trunking is a packet-based solution, which means phone calls are sent real-time in small packets across the internet. Although data packet loss is possible, this can be mitigated by assigning a higher priority to voice traffic over data packets. Also, the quality of internet connection has greatly improved over recent years and many providers offer reliability and low latency guarantees.



Since SIP Trunks are virtual channels, all you need is a reliable internet connection with enough bandwidth to handle your data and phone call volume. Without the extra hardware needed with a PRI, you will save money on installation and maintenance. This makes SIP a more cost-effective option.


Scaling a SIP system is also less expensive than scaling a PRI. If you want to increase the size of your system, a PRI requires that you do this in increments of 23 channels and on-site work is needed. SIP trunks are sold individually on an as-needed basis and it’s simple to add more channels.



The primary concern with POTS is that certain carriers have stopped repairing these lines and may not support POTS customers in the near future. In the event of a power outage or internet failure, SIP trunk calls can be automatically re-routed to an alternate office location or to mobile devices to prevent costly downtime. Additionally, a company can elect to have redundant internet services at their place of business, enabling SIP trunks to have multiple pathways, which limits downtime.


Still have questions about which service will best suit your needs? Call Teltek today at 1-866-9-TELTEK or 410-552-6580.


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