What Is SIP Protocol?

Information About Technology

Core Definition

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol, meaning it controls how communication sessions are set up, managed, and terminated. Operating on layer 5 of the OSI model, it utilizes text-based messages similar to HTTP to exchange information between participants in a call over an IP network.

Benefit Definition

SIP offers a versatile and efficient approach to VoIP communication. It facilitates establishing calls, video conferences, or instant messaging sessions, replacing the need for older, less flexible protocols like H.323.

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Technical Definition

Technically, SIP acts as the conductor for multimedia sessions. It uses messages to identify participants, determine their network reachability, and negotiate media types using the Session Description Protocol (SDP). Once the setup is complete, media like voice or video is transmitted using separate protocols like Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). Developed by the IETF and documented in RFC 3261, SIP has become the cornerstone of modern VoIP communication.

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