Federated VoIP (SIP and Jabber)

What do we mean by `federated' VoIP?

The vision is true peer-to-peer VoIP, with no central point of control. Email is already distributed using a federated mechanism (SMTP and DNS): the same paradigm is now emerging in the world of voice and video communications. Any two users or organisations can connect to each other dynamically without requiring dedicated (cumbersome, outdated and expensive) solutions from legacy phone companies.

Other phrases you may hear include unified communications, convergence and next generation networks

How is it possible?

  • Mapping phone numbers to the web: ENUM allows for the discovery of the internet domain (e.g. example.org) associated with a particular phone number
  • Calling anyone on the web, without having to worry about what server or software they use: DNS SRV allows for the discovery of the best server (and backup servers) for making VoIP connections to a domain/entity
  • Doing things you just can't do with a phone: SIP and Jabber (XMPP) allow phone calls, video chat, conferencing and various other types of text chat, shared desktop and communication sessions to be established between any two domains
  • Ensuring that any two parties can communicate with each other over any type of internet connection: see the Codec Recommendations