SIP vs BICC
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and BICC (Bearer Independent Call Control) are both session control protocols used in the IP based networks to facilitate both voice and multimedia services. With the evolving technology, these protocols were used to encapsulate ISUP messages when transporting them over large IP based networks. Both these protocols were originally adopted by different releases of 3GPP in order to facilitate emerging networks in the future.
SIP is a session control protocol which resides in the application layer and can perform multimedia session establishment, modification and tear down in real time communications over IP based networks. SIP was originally developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) together with many leaders in the industry.
In managing sessions, SIP can invite participants to sessions that already exist such as multicast conferences. Media of the already existing session can be added or removed in real time. SIP also support for the implementation of ISDN and Intelligent Network telephony subscriber services with transparently supporting name mapping and redirection services, which also contribute to enable the personal mobility. This is defined as the ability of end users to originate and receive calls while being able to be located by the network as they move across different switching areas, fully accessing subscribed telecommunication services on any terminal in any location.
Generally SIP devices communicate with each other using SIP servers which provide an infrastructure for routing, registration, and authentication and authorization services. SIP cannot exist alone in a communications system. So it is rather used as a component with other IETF protocols in order to build a complete multimedia architecture. These consists of various protocols like RSTP (Real Time Streaming Protocol), MEGACO (Media Gateway Control Protocol), SDP (Session Distribution Protocol), e.t.c. SIP supports both IPv4 and IPv6; thus, its very popular among many users.
The BICC (Bearer Independent Call Control) protocol provides a means of supporting narrowband ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services across a broadband backbone network. The ITU – T recommendation of Q.1902 initiated in the year 2000 defined and standardized BICC in order to create, modify and tear down the IP based voice calls established between MSCs (Mobile Switching Centers).
BICC signaling evolves on the basis of ISUP signaling. Both ISUP and BICC have the same kind of characteristics, if consider the way basic call procedures are supported and the available supplementary services features for both of them. The bearer related information is exchanged between the call control nodes using the ATM (Application Transport Mechanism) at the end of the Nc (Network Controller) interface. The information consisted of mainly bearer address, connection reference, bearer characteristics, bearer setup mode and supported codec list. BICC can also provide a bearer control tunneling mechanism on the Nc interface, by means of encapsulation within the BICC messages for the bearer control signaling between the media gateways.
What is the difference between SIP and BICC?
- BICC is limited to operate in the GSM and UMTS domain, whereas SIP can interact with most of the prevailing networks.
- Both protocols use RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) for voice and media. Thus, media compatibility is achieved between the two protocols.
- The media packet framing protocol used by BICC is less efficient than SIP due to the duplication of some RTP layer functions on the BICC.
- BICC signaling messages very much identical to ISUP (ISDN User Part ) messages whereas, SIP is contrastingly different from ISUP messages.
- Both BICC and SIP have different models for establishing and negotiating the media and bearer streams.
- BICC protocol architecture contains many interconnected nodes to provide services, whereas SIP uses many types of SIP servers, when communicating within the SIP devices.
- Both protocols used to encapsulate ISUP messages and sent them over IP based networks.
- Both protocols need some other supporting protocols to enhance the features in an effective manner.