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How To Safely Convert a PRI Phone Connection to SIP Trunking

April 3rd, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Business man talking on phone and working on laptop

If you have a PRI phone connection, you may struggle with outdated technology. With an outdated, poor-performing phone service, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to maximize your telephony objectives.

If you’re in this situation, your organization may benefit from converting your PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking. However, it is important that you learn how to make this conversion safely so you do not end up a victim of a cyberattack.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with their phone service by delivering SIP Trunking. We know how important a good calling service is to an organization and want to give you information on how to safely convert your PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking.

By the end of this article, you will know what a PRI phone connection is, what SIP Trunking is, and how to convert PRI to SIP safely.

What is a PRI phone connection?

A Primary Rate Interface (PRI) is a legacy phone service that has been used in the telecommunications industry for decades.

A PRI phone connection makes and receives calls over the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) to transmit calls and data over the business’s Private Branch Exchange (PBX).

With a PRI connection, your phones are connected physically by copper phone lines to make and receive calls. By using these physical phone lines, you could have high deployment, installation, and maintenance costs due to all the hardware required.

What is SIP Trunking?

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an application layer protocol that allows you to run your phone system over the internet instead of a traditional phone line.

Trunking serves as the backbone of phone lines that connect multiple users to a single telephone network.

The main objective of SIP Trunking is to bring a standard PBX phone system to the cloud. A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone system is a private phone system that enables internal and external communication.

This allows you to achieve lower costs and scalability of the cloud-based phone system while utilizing your existing PBX phone system.

The ability to connect a PBX phone system to the cloud allows you to make calls from anywhere on any device without having to be connected to copper wires. This provides your organization with greater flexibility.

How to safely convert PRI to SIP

Converting your PRI phone solution to a SIP Trunking service is a fairly easy process. However, if not done safely, you could open up your network to malicious actors.

Because SIP Trunking allows for calls to be made and received over the internet, malicious actors can find and penetrate your new phone connection if your conversion is not done properly. Some ways you can safely convert your PRI to SIP Trunking include:

●      Understand the differences

Before converting your PRI phone connection to a SIP Trunking service, it is important you understand the differences between the two.

●      Determine the PRI connection and SIP provider

Next, it is important that you determine what kind of PRI connection your phone system has. There are different ways that your PRI phone connection can be made.

Some PRI phone connections may not be able to migrate to SIP Trunking while others can.

Figuring out what PRI phone connection you currently have, and what SIP provider you’d like to choose will help you determine if your current PRI phone connection is compatible with the SIP provider you are considering.

During this time it is also important for your organization to determine what is needed from the service provider. SIP Trunking is a fairly technical service so it is important you identify how much help your organization may need from the service provider you’re considering.

If your organization has an IT team that is familiar with the service and knows how it works, you may not need much help from your provider. However, if you do not have an IT team or your IT team does not have SIP Trunking expertise, you may need additional assistance.

Most SIP Trunking providers will train your organization on how to use the service. However, if you need more than basic training, you may want to go select a provider that is willing to give your organization the extra help and training it needs.

●      Prepare network conversion

Not only do you have to make sure your PRI connection can properly convert to SIP but it is also important that you make sure your network can support the conversion as well.

Your current network may not have the bandwidth capacity or the security to safely handle a SIP Trunking service.

Checking your network before the conversion will allow you to determine if you can safely convert or what you can do to make the conversion possible.

●      Install SBCs

Session Border controllers (SBCs) are devices that control how phone calls are initiated, conducted, and terminated on a voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network.

SBCs can be thought of as a firewall for your voice network. Not only do SBCs help route calls, but they also secure your calls to prevent cyberattacks such as toll fraud.

●      Test your connection and security

Once you have converted your PRI phone connection to SIP with the help of your new provider, it is important that you test your new connection and security. Make the necessary test calls to ensure your new phone service is working properly.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to perform a vulnerability scan or penetration test to ensure your voice network is not vulnerable to cyberattacks.

●      Monitor and maintain your new phone system

At this point, the ongoing operation of your new phone still needs to be managed. SIP Trunking is not supposed to be set up and left alone. It is important that you work with your provider to make sure your SIP Trunking service is maintained.

This management includes checking security, performance, and updating your service whenever a new upgrade is available to ensure your service is always performing properly and your voice network is constantly secure.

Next steps to converting a PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking

Now you know what a PRI phone connection is, what SIP Trunking is, and how to safely convert a PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking.

This will help you upgrade your phone connection if you are currently relying on a PRI phone connection and need a better-performing phone service.

No one wants to have outdated technology or a poor-performing phone service. If you still have a PRI phone connection in your network, converting it to SIP Trunking may bring efficiency and better productivity to your workplace.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with their phone service and knows how important it is to have a high-performing phone service in your organization.

We want to give you information on how to safely convert a PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking so you can update your new phone service safely without being a victim of a cyberattack.

If you would like to speak with our team about converting your PRI phone connection to SIP Trunking or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

Read these articles below to learn more about SIP Trunking and other phone services:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.