SIP phones have come of age.
Only a year ago SIP phones were too big, too expensive
and in doubt of making it in the marketplace. SIP wasn't
even the major established VoIP protocol like it is
today, so how could phones based on SIP even survive?
But they did. And the field of SIP phones grows bigger
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
is a simple, ASCII-based protocol that uses requests
and responses to establish communication among the various
components in the network and to ultimately establish,
maintain, and terminate calls between two or more end
points. SIP was established by the Internet Engineering
Task Force's (IETF's) as a standard for multimedia conferencing
SIP, another VoIP protocol is H.323, which originated
as an International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
multimedia standard and is used for both packet
telephony and video streaming. Most current SIP
phones will handle both protocols effectively.
Because VoIP is an emerging technology, growing
by leaps and bounds and expected to be the telecom
system of choice over the next several years,
the SIP phone market is ever growing and changing
as well. On this page, we're introducing some
of the current major players in the SIP phone
Cisco isn't just for backbones
anymore. Cisco is now one of the major players in the
SIP phone, VoIP phone market. Cisco IP Phones 7971G-GE,
7970G, 7960G, 7940G, 7912G and 7905G feature pixel-based
LCD displays, offering dynamic soft keys that guide
a user through call features and functions, and can
support additional information services including Extensible
Markup Language (XML) capabilities.
Nortel Networks has developed
the i2004 Internet Telephone, which is an IP-enabled
set that supports business features over a standard
Ethernet connection. A large multi-field LCD display
features six user-programmable, self-labeling feature
keys. The Nortel IP Phone 2004 delivers traditional
business communications in a network controlled by a
Nortel Business Communications Manager, Meridian 1,
Communication Server 1000, Communication Server 1000M
or Multimedia Communications Server 5100.
offers the first universal telephone supporting SIP, IP
and TDM in what they're calling the OptiPoint 600 office.
The OptiPoint 600 Office is Siemens flagship Internet
phone system, which supports feature updates via software
download (via FTP) and SIP, TCP/IP, FTP, DHCP, SNMP, SNTP,
The Avaya 4602SW IP Phone supports
two modes of operation, H.323 and SIP for use with Avaya
Converged Communications Server or 3rd party SIP communications
servers. According to Avaya, their 4600 line of IP phones
provides, "An enterprise communication system serving
many locations that extends the headquarters' capabilities
throughout the organization regardless of location."
No matter which of the SIP phones
strikes your fancy, it is important to research the
companies' offerings thoroughly in order to get exactly
what you need. Whether you're looking simply for a SIP
phone or a whole corporate network system, make sure
you keep interoperability issues at the forefront of
your agenda when doing the research.