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SIP takes center stage at VoiceCon IP telephony show

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the major area of focus for exhibitors at the VoiceCon IP telephony show this week, while attendees and vendors keep an eye on management, security, converged networks and collaboration.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) was a big winner at this week's VoiceCon IP telephony show, with several vendors announcing SIP-based product upgrades or newfound support for the security protocol in their existing products.

SIP is a single signaling and event notification protocol that combines voice, video and messaging communications. The protocol also offers a standards-based approach that lets applications and services run on multiple platforms from different vendors across disparate networks.

Cisco rallied behind the SIP movement when it announced that Cisco Unified CallManager 5.0, Cisco Unified CallManager Express 3.4 and Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) 3.4 now natively support SIP. Third-party verification for voice, data and video SIP endpoints are provided to developers via a new program called SIP Verified.

For its part, Metreos Corp., which makes a rapid development environment for VoIP applications, released a major upgrade to its flagship product. The company added SIP support to its Metreos 2400 VoIP application environment, enabling developers to build a VoIP application environment for the SIP standards-based VoIP infrastructure market. Metreos' application suite, which includes ActiveRelay, VoiceTunnel, ClickToTalk and RapidRecord, can also now be deployed using SIP on a standards-based, multi-vendor IP telephony infrastructure.

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Covergence Inc., developer of unified security and management solutions for SIP-based applications and services, has teamed with wireless communications vendor, TeleCommunication Systems Inc., to ensure that mobile enterprise customers have access to emergency services. The integration of TCS and Covergence technologies enables enterprise customers to provide the caller's current mobile location identification information to public safety call and dispatch centers via TCS' Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) Enhanced 9-1-1 service. The combined technologies include Covergence's Eclipse, which centralizes security and management functions for SIP applications and devices. Meanwhile, TCS is providing its location and presence capabilities for static, nomadic and mobile VoIP users.

Another vendor releasing SIP-powered solutions is Avaya Inc., which expanded SIP in some of its products. Avaya's IP telephony and messaging software now have new SIP enhancements, such as expanded multi-vendor interoperability, including full SIP support of Cisco IP phones. Also, Avaya's IP software now includes SIP without additional fees and doubles the number of SIP sessions supported.

In other news around the VoiceCon show, SpectraLink Corp. introduced its digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) into the U.S. market. The technology addresses the mobile workforce but is only starting to make inroads in the U.S. market. The SpectraLink DECT System consists of three components: wireless servers, base stations and wireless telephones. The wireless servers provide integration with most enterprise telephone systems and are scalable from a handful to hundreds of users. The DECT Base Stations and Repeaters enable easy deployment for wireless coverage throughout any enterprise environment. Handset options include three different models, all operating in the 1920 to 1930 MHz unlicensed PCS (UPCS) spectrum.

Doing its best to keep its name in the news, at VoiceCon this week, Research In Motion (RIM) announced that its BlackBerry Wireless LAN solution would support Cisco Unified CallManager 5.0. The BlackBerry WLAN solution and Cisco Unified CallManager 5.0 extend voice and data capabilities to those enterprises that use the BlackBerry 7270 and have deployed Cisco CallManager 5.0. The goal is to increase productivity and improve workflow among on-campus mobile users. In addition, RIM and Cisco have also collaborated to enhance phone features on cellular-based BlackBerry handsets, providing customers with Cisco MobilityManager on BlackBerry and the ability to push incoming calls to a desktop phone directly to their BlackBerry.

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