Department of Defense contemplates move to commercial SIP

The Department of Defense (DoD)) is currently considering moving to commercial SIP and away from the DoD-specific version of SIP known as AS-SIP.

AS-SIP is unique to the DoD because the department needed to maintain certain encryption requirements. As time has passed and development has continued, standard SIP has addressed the majority of the requirements that were unique to the Department of Defense.

Why is this important to the entire VoIP community?

Legacy adoption

Adoption of standard SIP by the Department of Defense should accelerate the adoption of SIP by legacy telephone companies. Today, interconnection with legacy phone companies still requires conversion from SIP to traditional telecom signaling, often referred to as TDM (time division multiplexing) technology. The main reason this conversion is done is because the terminating telephone company can charge terminating access fees for completing a TDM call, but they can’t charge when the technology is SIP. The business case for terminating access fees becomes weaker every year as terminating access fees are reduced.

Security

The idea that standard SIP is secure enough for the DoD demonstrates that SIP security is certainly good enough for the public network. The security of standard SIP is defined by SIP Connect 2.0 and uses TSL (encrypted SIP signaling) and SRTP (encrypted audio packets). So, any arguments around security concerns are quickly becoming obsolete especially as organizations like the DoD begin to implement standard SIP.

Also, as the rate of adoption of SIP by legacy telephone operators increases, it will enable the deployment of STIR and SHAKEN. bringing a new level of network integrity that far surpasses the network of traditional telephone networks.

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