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January 07, 2008

Top Five Reasons SIP is Better Than RADIUS

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Some Internet service providers and enterprises still use Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) as an authentication, authorization and accounting protocol for controlling access to network resources. However, in more and more cases, a switch is being made to the newer Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert) (SIP).
The differences between RADIUS and SIP are not always clearly understood. To shed some light on this topic, TMCnet asked Barry Sher (News - Alert), vice president of business development at IVR Technologies, to list five advantages SIP has over RADIUS. Sher listed the following points, expanded upon here.
1. SIP is an extensible protocol that is standard for VoIP
This advantage emphasizes two things. First, that SIP is extensible. This word can be defined in different ways, but in the context of software development it means “taking into consideration future growth.” Software extensibility is an implementation principle that makes it easier to extend, or add new features to, a system in the future.
Second, SIP is standard for VoIP. SIP, accepted by the 3GPP as part of the IMS architecture, is used as a signaling protocol for VoIP, and has largely overtaken H.323 as the dominant protocol.
2. SIP provides rich media and signaling control
SIP is not only used for basic signaling functions; it can also perform more advanced processing present in Signaling System 7 (SS7). SIP is a peer-to-peer protocol, requiring a simple and scalable core network. This makes SIP more flexible than SS7.
3. SIP is interoperable across many hardware and software solutions
Because it is so flexible, and has been so widely adopted, SIP creates a high level of interoperability between hardware and software solutions from many, many vendors. This helps providers and enterprises achieve ROI by enabling interconnection between products, software and networks.
4. SIP offers greater call control and network efficiency
SIP is more adept than RADIUS at performing call control. It also makes it possible to achieve increased efficiency for networks.
5. SIP networks can scale and be built in a more cost effective and redundant configuration
Because of its extensibility, flexibility and functionality, SIP is quite scalable and efficient as a protocol for building network configurations. In particular, it’s good for creating redundant configurations—a vital part of business continuity initiatives.
To learn more about the advantages of SIP, please visit the RADIUS Billing channel on, brought to you by IVR Technologies.

Mark your calendars! Internet Telephony (News - Alert) Conference & EXPO—the first major IP communications event of the year—is just days away. It’s not too late to register for the event, which takes place in Miami Beach, FL, January 23–25, 2008. The EXPO will feature three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking that you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae’s articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

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