Any organisation, whether large or small, would benefit immensely by buying and using PRI Lines for local/inter-state voice communication. What more, PRI lines can also be used for video conferencing thereby making them the best multi-utility option for enterprise voice and video services.
PRI Lines are end-to-end digital lines that help you connect to PSTN network and provide 30 simultaneous channels for voice communication. Service provider terminates PRI line directly to an EPABX system with an empty PRI card slot and a PRI card, both of which are easily available in the market from EPABX manufacturers/vendors.
Once the PRI line is connected, you can make local, inter-state and even international voice calls directly from all the phones that are connected to your EPABX.
While analog lines/ landline services provide 1:1 connectivity, PRI channels can be used to connect multiple extensions thereby allowing you to ensure optimum utilization of voice resources. Most of the companies configure 100 extensions on single PRI (30 channels). Based on the requirement and utilization service providers provide upto 500 DID with single PRI thereby allowing to significantly reduce costs.
Buying multiple analog lines/landlines that provide only one voice channel has many limitations as discussed in this article below. PRI Lines are the preferred option over analog lines, even for small business nowadays.
PRI Lines are provided as an ongoing connectivity service by telecommunications service providers like Tata Teleservices in India, for example.
What are PRI Lines?
A PRI Line is a circuit/cable that comes from a telecom service provider and is terminated on the customer PBX. It is a digital line that is capable of carrying 30 channels of voice simultaneously.
Technically, a PRI line is a 2 Mbps line, so each channel has a capacity of 64 Kpbs. From the service provider POP, it runs on an IP backbone like optical fiber network and various last mile connectivity options like copper, RF, fiber can be used to connect to EPABX.
How does a PRI Line connect to an EPABX
An EPABX refers to the private telephone interconnectivity system usually installed in the customer premises. This system connects all the extensions (phones, fax machines, etc.) to the trunk lines (analog lines, PRI lines, etc.)
Each manufacturer has multiple EPABX models with varying capacities for trunk and extension connections. Some EPABX models have a fixed no. of connections and some PBX models have open slots that can be populated with trunk/extension cards of varying capacities.
While buying an EPABX It is important to size it based on number of PRI and extensions required so that future requirements can be catered without additional costs.
Advantages of PRI Lines
Ease of Management – Imagine buying 30 analog trunk lines (landlines), instead of a single PRI Line. The cost of terminating 30 analog lines individually on a PBX would require you to purchase a number of analog trunk cards, which would be expensive or would require you to purchase a higher PBX model, which would again prove expensive. Now imagine connecting multiples of those 30 lines, individually.
Second comes the higher on-going cost. Each analog trunk line would come with a monthly rental and the rental cost could easily escalate when you have multiple analog trunk lines. Besides, it is possible that you might not use all analog lines equally – some of them might be used extensively, some not so much. That will again result in higher ongoing costs. Imaging having just one circuit and one rental/bill for 30 channels – that’s a PRI line.
Third, with analog lines, one circuit is tied with a particular phone number. Let’s assume that phone no. is your main no. connecting your receptionist. If that number is busy, customers will get a busy tone and they’ll have to manually dial another number.
There are no such hassles with PRI lines – if one voice channel is occupied, the call is automatically routed to another channel. So you can just advertise a single no. to the external world and have multiple telephone operators to receive phone calls simultaneously, if your call volume is high.
Video Conferencing – Video Conferencing systems make it easy to see and talk to multiple people across geographies instantly. That saves a lot of time and travel expenditure. If you have multiple video conferencing systems in your company, PRI Lines are a better option than ISDN lines. You can also connect the Video Conferencing systems over Internet Leased Lines (ILL), but since ILLs are already being used for Internet/Data communication, PRI Lines offer a separate network that doesn’t slow down your regular Internet/data traffic.
Enterprise Friendly Billing – With PRI lines, it’s not only possible to get a single rental for 30 connections, but you also get a single bill. This not only reduces your cost, but also simplifies the process of paying your telecom bills.
Single bill doesn’t mean less details, however. You can get details of all calls made by each department in your company or even each person (extension). That lets you easily monitor who has used how many minutes of voice calls – on an ongoing basis.
PRI Lines – Features
Direct Inward Dialling/Direct Outward Dialling features of PRI Lines helps individual users of your organization to have their own unique phone number. Calls to that phone no would directly reach your users’ extensions and calls going out from that no. would reflect the same unique phone no too.
Same Product/Cross Product/National Pooling enables organisations to treat all their connections across branches as a single product with a single bill. This not only simplifies payment and tracking, but also enables you to transfer the unused free calls in one location to another where the call volume maybe higher, for example.
Closed User Group enables you to group departments or sub-divisions together. All calls between your own employees in the same department even if they are spread across multiple parts of the city, would be free of cost provided they are using PRI lines from the same provider at all locations. There is also an option of subsidized calling between offices if they are spread across multiple cities across India.
Multiple Last Mile Options enables you to get the PRI lines on multiple media – copper, fiber, wireless, etc.
Tele Marketing Number enables the receivers to easily distinguish between cold marketing calls and important calls from your organisation.
Budget ILD Calling packs Some telecom service providers enable you to make high quality international long distance calls, cheaper, without having to use low quality voice calling apps on the Internet.
Tata Teleservices is a leading telecommunications service provider in India who offers SLA-backed (99.5% Assured Service Availability) PRI Lines/Connections across the country. Visit their website and contact their representatives if you wish to explore PRI lines for your organisation.