SIP Forum Ratifies New Guidelines for Interoperability

The new version of the recommendation provides a more extensive and standardized set of guidelines for seamless, end-to-end interoperability between SIP-enabled IP-PBXs and service-provider networks.

Channel Partners

January 24, 2017

6 Min Read
SIP Forum Ratifies New Guidelines for Interoperability

PRESS RELEASE — NORTH ANDOVER, MA (January 24, 2017)The SIP Forum announced today that it has ratified Version 2.0 of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation, with the unanimous approval of the SIP Forum Board of Directors. The new version of the recommendation, developed by the SIP Forum’s SIPconnect Task Group, is a follow-on to Version 1.1 ratified in 2011, and provides a more extensive and standardized set of guidelines for seamless, end-to-end interoperability between SIP-enabled IP-PBXs and service provider networks.

SIPconnect 2.0 effectively extends SIPconnect 1.1. Where SIPconnect 1.0, and 1.1, focused primarily on basic network registration, identity/privacy management, call originations, call terminations, and advanced services, this version adds additional guidance on Security, Emergency Calling Location, Early Media, and IPv6.

Where appropriate, recommendations from SIPconnect 1.1 have been left unchanged, although some modifications to prior recommendations have been made based on experience and feedback gathered through adoption of SIPconnect 1.1 in the industry.

Richard Shockey, Chairman of the Board of the SIP Forum and Principal at Shockey Consulting, says, “The SIP Forum has been working continuously for more than 10 years to enhance the interoperability of SIP and in so doing shorten the time-to-market for new products and services and ease the pains of commercial deployment. SIPconnect 2.0 represents the fruits of our ongoing efforts. In addition, we continue to maintain an open invitation to all members of the SIP community as well as to users of the SIP protocol, to participate in the work going forward.”{ad}

“Because of the SIP Forum’s consensus-oriented approach to developing technical specifications, this updated SIPconnect recommendation drew a wide swath of participation from leading companies in the IP communications industry, In addition, the effort greatly benefitted from the involvement of International participants.” said Marc Robins, President and Managing Director of the SIP Forum. “These participants have been very active in the SIPconnect 2.0 Task Group effort, and submitted comments, suggested edits and other useful information as the work progressed. The SIP Forum also owes a debt of gratitude for the work and commitment to the project from Spencer Dawkins, who served as the SIPconnect 2.0 Task Group Chair and as SIP Forum Technical Director, and to Andrew Hutton, Unify and to Gonzalo Salgueiro, Cisco Systems, for serving as the primary document editors.”

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the dominant industry standard for signaling in support of VoIP.  The deployment of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-enabled PBXs (SIP-PBXs) among Enterprises of all sizes is increasing rapidly. Deployment of SIP infrastructure by Service Providers is also increasing, driven by the demand for commercial VoIP offerings and the need to retire ageing PSTN equipment. The result of these parallel deployments is a present need to move away from PSTN circuit switched infrastructure to an All-IP infrastructure.

According to Spencer Dawkins, President at Wonder Hamster Internetworking LLC, SIP Forum Technical Director and Chair of the SIPconnect 2.0 Task Group, “SIPconnect 2.0 reflects implementation and deployment experience beyond SIPconnect 1.1, and provides a solid basis for SIP trunking that removes …


… the last technical reasons to delay TDM replacement.”

The SIPconnect Technical Recommendation, which represents the consensus of a broad cross section of the global telecom community, is one of the most important initiatives of the SIP Forum, aimed at providing an up-to-date, international framework for direct IP peering between SIP-enabled enterprises and service provider networks, ensuring the interoperability of network elements across the IP environment and providing a level playing field for vendors and service providers as they develop new equipment and IP applications for deployment.

Andrew Hutton, Head of Standardization at Unify, a SIP Forum Director and co-editor of SIPconnect 2.0, says, “SIPconnect is the only Open Standards-based SIP Trunking specification in use internationally. Its continued evolution is an important part of the digital transformation of both enterprise and voice service providers as we retire the legacy PSTN infrastructure and transition to All-IP”.

Currently published ITU-T Recommendations and IETF RFCs offer a comprehensive set of building blocks that can be used to achieve direct IP peering between SIP-enabled SIP-PBX systems and a Service Provider’s SIP-enabled network. However, due to the sheer number of these standards documents, Service Providers and equipment manufacturers have no clear “master reference” that outlines which standards they must specifically support in order to ensure success.{ad}

This SIP Forum document aims to address this issue. In short, this document defines the protocol support, implementation rules, and features required for predictable interoperability between SIP-enabled Enterprise Networks and SIP-enabled Service Providers. It specifies the minimal set of IETF and ITU-T standards that must be supported, provides precise guidance in the areas where the standards leave multiple implementation options, and specifies a minimal set of capabilities that should be supported by the Service Provider and Enterprise Networks.

The SIPconnect work also informs other related SIP Forum initiatives, most notably the SIPconnect Certification Testing Program, a unique certification testing program hosted by the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory that includes a certification test suite and test platform, as well as an associated “SIPconnect Certified” logo program that serves as the official “seal of certification” for companies products and services that have successfully passed the certification test and officially achieved laboratory tested, independently verified conformance with the SIPconnect specification.

Gonzalo Salgueiro, a Principal Engineer at Cisco Systems, a SIP Forum Director and co-editor of SIPconnect 2.0, says, “The SIPconnect Technical Recommendation is the basis for the SIPconnect industry certification program, which is critical for Enterprise Network equipment vendors and Service Providers to ensure proper interoperability in large multi-vendor environments, decrease troubleshooting effort, minimize network rollout effort and the need for custom integrations as well as reduce time to revenue.”

The SIPconnect Certification Testing Program currently provides certification for SIPconnect 1.1, and will be used to certify products and services for SIPconnect 2.0 once the industry has been able to incorporate the guidelines of the recommendation into commercial products and services, a process that typically takes 18-to-24 months.

To obtain a copy of SIPconnect Technical Recommendation Version 2.0, please click here:,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,838/Itemid,261/

To learn more about SIPconnect, please visit the SIP Forum’s main SIPconnect webpage at:

About the SIP Forum
The SIP Forum is an IP communications industry association that engages in numerous activities that promote and advance SIP-based technology, such as the development of industry recommendations; interoperability testing events including SIPit, SIPconnect-IT and RTCWeb-it; and special workshops, educational seminars, and general promotion of SIP in the industry. The SIP Forum is also the producer of the annual SIPNOC conferences (for SIP Network Operators Conference), focused on the technical requirements of the service provider community. One of the Forum’s notable technical activities is the development of the SIPconnect Technical Recommendation – a standards-based SIP trunking recommendation for direct IP peering and interoperability between IP PBXs and SIP-based service provider networks, as well as the associated SIPconnect Certification Testing Program. Other important Forum initiatives include work in VRS interoperability, security, NNI, and SIP and IPv6. For more information, please visit:

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