Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Is SIP A Good Choice For Business Communications?

I'm not going to directly answer this question as it would be just my opinion. When it comes to SIP you'll find that opinions vary widely.

So ... I'll simply layout some basic information and let you make up your own mind. If you do have an opinion .... one way or the other ... please feel free to leave a comment so Broadband Nation readers can benefit from your viewpoint.

Here goes .....

SIP is a standards based protocol that is offered by multiple Tier 1 and 2 carriers domestically and internationally. In the US SIP is supported by several IP Telephony hardware manufacturers. For example ..... Cisco, Nortel and Avaya.

SIP is a completely different approach when it comes to communication. Being an open standard, there are multiple options for call servers, proxies, etc. and also the phones (soft phones, IP phones, etc.). The customer has the choice to choose from a slew of vendors and services, and is not bound to one single vendor.

SIP also supports multiple services such as Video. Plus, SIP is also the basis for 3GPP IMS standards along with Diameter and ENUM.

SIP is best described as a client server protocol, which means that some intelligence could be delegated to the endpoint (for example call routing decision). There's not too much dependency for the server.

SIP and other protocols above can be used for connecting:.....

Call Server <-> IP Phones or other devices
Call Server <-> Softphones
Call Server <-> IP Gateways
Between same vendor Call Servers
Between different vendor Call Servers
Call Servers <-> VoIP Service Provider

If you really want a multi-vendor solution then you need a common standard e.g. SIP or H323. However, interworking is not always straight forward and you need to be careful what you commit to. Also you will have a limited feature set.

A single vendor solution means that you can use either SIP, H323 or the proprietary protocol. Either way your solution would also have the full technical support of the vendor and unlikely to have any interworking problems. A single vendor solution will also have a much wider feature set supported and this may be critical to the user.

There are a few features that are not yet available on SIP IP Phones firmware.

Many VoIP carriers have adopted SIP for their signaling because of its low overhead, simplicity, and text based packets that can be easily read from a network analyzer, which makes troubleshooting easier), not to mention you don't have to buy vendor specific (e.g. Cisco) equipment to use it and pay a service contract to that specific vendor (e.g. again Cisco) to get support.

Giving a general recommendation that applies to every customer or situation is difficult and reminds me a little bit the choice between automatic or manual gear box in a car. Is one of them tremendously better than the other one? It depends: each of them have pros and cons and its pretty much down to the driver himself to evaluate those.

Now if you are interested in a SIP Trunking Solution for your business communications .... you can get free assistance in that effort at: SIP Trunking Solution

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the VoIP integration with carrier grade services still provide combinations of H.323/SIP implementations. I prefer to use the PBX/Data T1 (or multiple) interface cards that plugin to the PBX with a colo gateway/gatekeeper (H.323) at a telco facility for the cross connects. This gives you the option to connective via leased lines with T1-CAS or PRI (whichever signaling you prefer) providing redundancy or voice quality services. The hidden fact is that any carrier will change their routes of service because the rates per minute change not just on a daily basis but an hourly basis without notification to the consumer. That's why you should determine where the majority of call destinations are located in order to properly layout your plan. You then base your carrier selection on that and then have 3-4 backup services for redirection as alternates.

As far a vendor specific issues? I have yet to run into a problem with being tied to a particular vendor. This is sometimes dependent on what the carrier provides if you decide to perform a voip hop to the next destination. The packet headers for H.323 are not always compatible in those cases.

3:25 PM  
Blogger rony said...

Another point I suggest relating to, is the ease of moving into streaming video, not just telephony.

H.323 easily integrates with H.324, allows you to convey video in carrier grade.
SIP on the other hand, allows you to move forward into video telephony, but then, if you need advance into video TV grade, then, you need to move forward into IPTV, which is a new area of tele

2:49 AM  

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