Those letters are a mouthful when you say Integrated Services Digital Network Primary Rate Interface. What it boils down to is a digital telephone line for businesses that offers high voice quality, fast call switching, and data services such as Caller ID.
Is ISDN PRI the same as a T1 telephone line? ISDN PRI is actually an improved version of the original T1 digital telephone service. It's still delivered on a T1 line, which makes it a readily available service for most business locations. The difference lies in the way the channels are organized.
A traditional T1 line, which dates to telephone company research in the 1950's, is organized as 24 individual channels. Each channel carries a separate telephone conversation. Since all 24 channels are identical, each one is responsible for transmitting the dialing tones and switching signals along with the digitized voice signal. This is called in-band signaling.
The newer ISDN PRI is also organized as 24 channels on a T1 line. For that reason, it is also called T1 PRI. With PRI, one channel is set aside to handling the signaling for the other 23. That data channel also has the capacity to transmit Caller ID information, something a traditional T1 phone line doesn't have room for. By using out of band or clear channel signaling, call processing is also faster with an ISDN PRI line. That can be important in busy call centers.
So, which should you order? In most cases, ISDN PRI is the telephone service that will most closely meet today's business needs, including telemarketing and customer service contact centers. If you currently are using multiple analog phone lines or a long established T1 service, you might also realize a significant cost savings with new ISDN PRI telephone service.
Does this pique your interest? If so, find out how much you can save by switching to ISDN PRI telephone service.