We’ve been getting a lot of interest in signaling gateways, especially as they relate to SIP. A signaling gateway is similar to a media gateway in that a “conversion” occurs. In the case of a media gateway, there is some kind of voice or video media conversion, usually from one type of codec to another. And typically these involve a signaling conversion in addition to a media conversion. Lately, we’ve also been getting requests to convert SS7 to SIP or SIP to SIP-I, which is ISUP over SIP. Why the interest?
Look at the picture below. As is the case with any gateway, there is existing infrastructure that needs to connect to “new” infrastructure. There should be no surprise that SIP is in the middle of any signaling conversion because SIP is the IP protocol of choice these days. If there is an IP-based media server/application server setup, which would be the case in an IMS deployment, for instance, then one can put a signaling gateway to convert the SIP to SS7 and/or SIP-I so the application can be served to existing PSTN networks.
In some cases, the media conversion will be required and in some cases, like if the codec is already in the format that the network wants, it will not be. But in all cases like this, the signaling will be required. The Dialogic IMG 2020 is a great product to handle SIP conversion use cases like this.
So why the WebRTC part of the picture? As I said above, SIP is the IP protocol of choice these days. In this case, SIP would be the existing infrastructure, and the new kid on the block would be WebRTC. It stands to reason that a signaling gateway will need to connect the SIP world to the WebRTC (or HTTP) world. This gateway is known as an H2S or HTTP to SIP gateway. Media conversion would also be critical in any WebRTC gateway, since WebRTC uses specific audio (Opus) and video (VP8/VP9) codecs.
So while none of this is sexy, it will push business along, and I expect that there will be many meetings about it at Mobile World Congress next week. I’m looking forward to it.