Engineer internet voip

IETF 74 and SIP

10 years ago this month saw the publication of RFC2543 which was the first proposed version of the SIP standard that is now used an almost all internet telephony services.

This is being celebrated this week at IETF74.  The Internet Engineerng Task Force is the body that maintains standards  for internet related technologies.

SIP was initially championed by a small number of people that included it’s inventor Henning Schulzrinne, Jonathan Rosenberg, Jiri Kuthan, Henry Sinnreich et al.

At around that time I was being asked by my then employer Mitel to set up a product line that was based on open standards.  There was quite a choice to chose from.

MGCP was adopted by the cable community in the USA and by a number of ITSPs.  However the problem with MGCP was that it had a relatively small feature set which meant that service providers had to develop their own extensions to provide saleable services.  Thie meant that MGCP quickly became non standard as any venbdor would have to support multiple flavours of the protocol.

Then there was SGCP, or skinny. This was a Cisco proprietary protocol.  Whilst potentially this had initially the largest market opportunity it did tie you into Cisco.

So SIP was the obvious one but it took a long time for the market to appear, particularly as the turmoil around 9/11 hit the dot com intustry.

I spent 4 years service on the board of the SIP Forum from around this time.  Being around during the early days of a technological revolution was exciting and I am fortunate enough, with Timico, to be able to continue the ride.

Check out the Facebook event surrounding this anniversay here.