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Potential of P2P-SIP Architecture in Telecommunications
For further information please contact:

Anastasius Gavras
Programme Manager
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

IMS is the interoperable SIP-oriented call control and service platform favoured by large telecom vendors and operators. IMS offers the architecture nucleus for the convergence of fixed and mobile operator networks. It is mainly characterised in that all applications are consequently realised on IP. Today these are mainly voice and video communication services, in future also TV, gaming and many more. In the standardisation at 3GPP and TISPAN, where in the meantime all telecom operators and vendors are involved, IMS is burdened by a large and slow standardisation effort in 3GPP2 and ETSI TISPAN to integrate some access awareness (DSL, 3G, 4G like Wi-MAX, etc.), network QoS and session border functionality. This is becoming even more difficult against the different backgrounds of FMC and is expected to result in a heavy-weight call control layer infrastructure.

At the same time, lowest-cost VoIP infrastructures on SIP basis are emerging: A large variety of small and large, incumbent and alternative operators currently offer solutions for VoIP infrastructures for internet customers, mainly based on free SIP implementations. These Internet VoIP Technologies (Pre-/Non-IMS) solutions are divided into two domains: VoIP installations based on plain SIP proxies, and proprietary (and closed) VoIP system like Skype or Google. The problems faced by these operators for public services offerings are multifaceted: The non-carrier-grade, often home-made SIP solutions are not reliable and secure enough to offer first-line services at global scale, while at the same time keeping the growth cost under control. On the other hand, today’s highly scalable P2P oriented approaches rely on proprietary protocols with issues regarding complex interoperability, lower innovation cycle and inherent architecture weaknesses like distributed user data bases. Over the last five years, P2P has become one of the most popular user applications on the Internet and is acknowledged as one of the key drivers for consumer broadband uptake.

The SIP community recognizes this trend and sees an opportunity to counter proprietary Skype at their weak points, in particular the use of completely closed architectures and protocols. Consequently, the members of the SIP oriented working group of are currently driving the so-called P2PSIP initiative to standardise an open P2P-like network architecture P2P-like architecture and protocols. The worldwide telecommunication industry (Ericsson, Siemens/Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, Cisco, Avaya, TI, etc.) is actively involved in the IETF P2PSIP standardization.

This new architectural paradigms will be facing a dynamic regulatory landscape regarding legal interception, emergency calling, and new things such as liable relations between global service providers, end users and local network operators.

The study will take into account this recent development and will analyze the potential and impact of the most promising P2P technologies and their current applications for regular voice services and Internet community collaboration.

The following areas are in the focus of the study:

  • Access network convergence and integration with IMS
  • Enhanced Architecture Approaches to IMS
  • Potential Impacts on applications (SIP Presence, Video Streaming)

The main question addressed by this study is whether architectural evolution exists, so that new services and applications can be developed and made available to both IMS and Internet-oriented P2P users and communities.

Additionally answers are expected how telco operators and vendors might address the P2P SIP threads and furthermore gain advantages from the P2P concept by adopting it in current network based client / server architectures.

What are the main objectives of this Project?

The main objective of this study will be to establish a vision from the network operator’s point of view for the support of P2P open (SIP) applications in a NGN framework, taking the IMS as the main architecture being deployed.

This study will address the following aspects:

Evaluation of the P2P-SIP potentials in IMS architectures

  • State of standardization and regulatory issues such as lawful intercept and emergency calls
  • Study of current P2P domains
    • Communication: VoIP, IM
    • Entertainment: virtual reality, online multiplayer gaming
    • Interest groups: Video applications (e.g. Joost and Vudu), teleconferencing (applications such as TelePresence of Cisco)
    • Internet cooperation: Online applications such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets
  • Migration scenarios and the impact on access networks
  • Analysis of P2P based simplification approaches for IMS architectures

Identification of business opportunities

  • Peering agreements with service differentiation - the driver for the change (who will began to create the need of P2P-SIP based applications
  • Business model and aspects of SIP network designs (SIP routing)
  • Ubiquitous access business model
  • New players (end user as content provider, for instance) relationships
  • Suitable charging/billing models for P2P based applications and services

SIP Presence

  • Can P2P SIP presence architecture be incorporated into existing client/server SIP systems
  • Traffic load optimisation

Video Streaming

  • Identification of potential P2P SIP architecture for video streaming based on IMS infrastructure

Definition of a R&D project

  • Evaluation of existing R&D projects in the P2P SIP area
  • New P2P technologies for carrier grade services
  • Advanced all-IP communication applications
  • Influence the international standardisation
  • Impact on business models


Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Issue date
Potentials of P2P-SIP Architecture in Telecommunications covering:
  • Business context and opportunities
  • Technical evaluation
D1 November 2008
Set of slides (Presentation of study results) D2 November 2008