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January 2010 | Volume 13 / Number 1
Ask the SIP Trunk Expert

Interoperability and the Importance of SIPconnect

SIP trunk deployments can happen rather quickly when all the components – the IP PBX (News - Alert), ITSP and enterprise session border controller are fully interoperable. There are ways to address interoperability at the start, to pave the way for a faster, simplified deployment.

One problem with interoperability is the many flavors of SIP. Some manufacturers build their equipment, or bill their service, as SIP. But SIP is an inexact protocol, and vendors use different compliant methods to perform the same function within the protocol. These variations may be slight, but in the end they can prove to be a significant stumbling block in deployments.

They also impact security. Opportunities for hackers, spoofers etc. are easy to come by when there are inconsistencies between the SIP-enabled PBX and the ITSP. Leading IP PBXs and ITSPs are aggressively conducting interoperability testing; making sure your equipment and service providers have demonstrated successful interoperability with one another will help address this issue.

Also, insist on strict adherence to SIP. There are a number of advantages vendors can leverage with SIP that benefit security, advantages that really come into play only when the protocol is strictly maintained. This also positions you well to build on your current SIP investments in planning your future network.

Specific to SIP trunking is the SIPconnect solution. SIPconnect is a set of technical recommendations or best practices for SIP trunking. SIPconnect was developed by the SIP Forum (News - Alert) to provide a common method for enterprises to connect to a SIP trunking service provider using standard SIP messages consistently across all vendors.

SIPconnect is a major step forward toward standardizing interoperability among all of the components of a SIP trunking implementation. Several service providers have adopted the SIPconnect standard, and many more are expected to implement SIPconnect in their networks soon.

However, not all IP PBXs are compliant with the requirements of SIPconnect. The solution is an E-SBC that normalizes the SIP signaling between the SIP-enabled PBX and the ITSP, allowing the enterprise to connect successfully to SIPconnect-compliant SIP trunking service providers quickly, easily and securely.

We, and our partners, will demonstrate the ease of SIP trunk installation at the January ITEXPO (News - Alert) in Miami during Ingate’s free SIP Trunk Summit. Stop by to watch us deploy a SIP trunk solution in 20 minutes or less. IT

Steven Johnson is president of Ingate Systems (News - Alert) (

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