What is IP-PRI?

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Did you know that phone systems can be connected in a multitude of ways? Some phones are connected via a physical copper circuit, while others digitally through the Internet. If you’re looking to keep your PRI-enabled PBX, but want to upgrade to IP and save money, consider an IP-PRI.

What is IP-PRI?

PRI stands for Primary Rate Interface — a traditional means of communication able to carry 23 concurrent calls. IP-PRI is one of the latest evolutions of TDM-PRI.


TDM-PRI is a copper-based voice solution that only carries 23 analog voice channels, while IP-PRI allows you to choose as many voice channels you want — similar to the functionality of SIP Trunking — and keep the network that you’re on.  For an IT specialist, IP-PRI makes it easier to monitor phone and internet service, since TDM-PRIs are a standalone circuit.

TelNet IP-PRIs have an IP to TDM gateway — a piece of networking equipment that is able to convert session initiation protocol (SIP) signalling into PRI, as shown in the diagram below:

diagram showing IP-PRI call flow from business phones

As you can see, outbound calls flow from your phones to your PBX, through a PRI handoff to our gateway via SIP over to our data center, and out to the PSTN.


The difference between IP-PRI and VoIP is a commonly asked question. It may be surprising to find out that PRI actually falls under the umbrella of VoIP, in the same way that a tomato is actually a fruit. To better understand this, let’s define VoIP.

VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol. VoIP consists of data devices that transmit real time audio communication over the internet. IP-PRI is actually a type of VoIP since it allows voice data to travel.

IP-PRI Benefits and Features

Less Troubleshooting

TDM-PRIs are copper circuits, known to have service issues due to its dying infrastructure and poor maintenance. Constant troubleshooting is eliminated when we take out copper and replace it with IP.

More Uptime

How much money does it cost your business when your voice service is down? With TelNet’s IP-PRI routed over your internet connection, your voice is as reliable as your bandwidth.

Easier Installation

IP-PRI is easier to install because there is no physical circuit involved, unlike with TDM-PRI. TelNet Worldwide will deploy the gateway and install it for you.

Service Assurance

Easily protect your voice quality with TelNet SD-WAN. We can encrypt your voice traffic to ensure security and reliability. Plus, you can aggregate bandwidth from multiple ISPs for guaranteed redundancy.

Bring Your Own Bandwidth

If you’re happy with your current internet provider, there’s no need to switch. With IP-PRI, you can keep the bandwidth you’re on, saving you time and keeping your business reliable.

Is IP-PRI Right for Me?

Besides the benefits that IP-PRI offers, it’s important to also factor in that TDM-PRI is not a growing long-term investment. Currently, TDM-PRI is being phased out due to:

  • Being too expensive to maintain
  • Having outdated infrastructure
  • Government regulations

Now is the ideal time to upgrade. If you’re considering moving to the cloud and want to avoid investing in a new phone system, IP-PRI is the  right solution for you. To learn more about IP-PRI, Contact Us Today!

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Lauren Bronston

Lauren is a Content Writer and SEO Specialist for TelNet Worldwide. When she’s not diving into data centers or SIP Trunking, Lauren writes TV scripts and builds music playlists for fun.

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