Video Calls over SIP

Ask the SIP Trunk Expert

Video Calls over SIP

By Steven Johnson, President, Ingate Systems, Inc.  |  December 01, 2010

This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.

SIP enables more than just voice: it delivers the full unified communications experience – Internet, voice, video, collaboration, presence, instant messaging and more. Up until now, telephony has been the biggest driver of SIP installations, with SIP trunking taking an increasing share of the voice market. 

Video from the desktop is poised to be the next major SIP application that is deployed in the enterprise. Today, video calls are confined to the enterprise local area network or at best within the service provider’s own network. This limitation creates islands of use that restrict users to videoconferencing with a limited number of contacts. Since video is not a service that can be deployed on the SIP trunking service, expanding video calling outside of these artificial boundaries may be difficult.

The E-SBC sits at the edge of the enterprise network and, for video, routes voice traffic to the SIP trunking softswitch while video is routed separately, directly to the called party using the enterprise’s existing Internet infrastructure. The E-SBC can deliver video over SIP via either a managed connection or the public Internet. But most importantly, the video can bridge service networks to allow point-to-point calling to anyone with an Internet connection.

The E-SBC performs an important role in this scenario, routing different types of traffic over different routes to reach the called party. And the security features ensure that the internal corporate network will be protected. Quality of service will ensure the priority of the voice and video SIP traffic to keep traffic flowing the way your business, or your customers, need it to.

The ways in which video can enhance communication are limitless. Purple in New Jersey uses SIP to deliver video over SIP to the deaf, providing a link to a certified video interpreter so the user can view sign language during a VoIP call. Stockholm’s Omnitor  does something similar, and also uses SIP to provide closed captioning in real time. And Librestream provides specialized hand-held devices to help field technicians communicate with design engineering staff to diagnose and repair complex machinery.

Video is available now on most desktop computers, and with an E-SBC the power of video can be harnessed to enhance business communications beyond the enterprise island.

Steven Johnson (News - Alert) is President of Ingate Systems, Inc. To read more of Steven’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi