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Speermint Group Tackles SIP Peering Shortcomings

With support from big players such as Avaya, Cisco and Siemens, this new spec paves the way for standardized backbone connectivity and cheaper voice communications, leaving the PSTN out of


The IETF's Speermint protocol provides a standard for exchanging VoIP traffic, avoiding the high costs and functionality restrictions associated with PSTN termination.

Speermint group members include PBX vendors, such as Avaya, Cisco Systems and Siemens, as well as service providers, such as Comcast, Level 3 Communications and Sprint, and VoIP peering providers, such as NeuStar.

Several Internet Drafts from the Speermint group have been delivered, and more are on the way. These drafts lay the foundation required to enable mainstream SIP peering deployments for enterprises and voice providers alike.

Imagine you're the CTO of a global enterprise. You've accepted the undeniable reality that communication between your offices comes at a cost--sometimes a hefty one that varies with usage and geographic separation.

Now imagine those interoffice call costs virtually disappearing. Then, imagine your long-distance charges to other enterprises declining. What might be mistaken for an accounting error is actually the result of your astute decision to implement SIP peering. And a standard in the works from the IETF promises to improve communications using SIP peering.

We're hardly strangers to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and the dramatic effects it's having on end users, both at home and work. SIP peering is responsible for server-to-server interconnections, providing backbone connectivity between ITSPs (Internet telephony service providers)--or VSPs (voice service providers), in the language of the IETF--and corporate enterprises. These interconnections occur completely in the IP space, using the private or public Internet, never touching the cost-incurring PSTN.

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