It’s not really VoIP unless you can give me a SIP address

To be expected, SIP/VoIP pioneer Henry Sinnreich gave a wonderful talk at Spring VON last week. I might get the quote slightly wrong, but at one point in his presentation he said something along the lines of “People say they have VoIP, but if you can’t give me a SIP URI, then you don’t have VoIP. You have a contraption of some kind, but it is not VoIP, as far as I’m concerned.” I cheered the remark. I think it was one of the best things I heard in public at the entire conference. It seemed lost on most the audience though. It speaks to points I have made along the same lines:

Services that do not support the global SIP-based VoIP network aren’t participating in the Internet. They are using the Internet as a pipe for their closed systems and getting in the way of progress toward making VoIP just one more interoperable application on the Internet.

Henry’s comment was in the context of chiding vendors of SIP phones for not providing an easy way to dial a SIP address using a web interface or other UI. The Snom SIP phones support this, but most phones and ATAs do not. When I speak with vendors, I always ask them for this feature. Sadly, the reaction is usually one of absolute bewilderment. They genuinely seem unable to fathom why a user would want such a feature — too many years serving ITU and H.323 markets, I guess.

Put that SIP address of yours on your business cards folks. Mine is: (West Coast USA hours please).

3 comments for “It’s not really VoIP unless you can give me a SIP address

  1. I shall be giving you a ring on your sip url soon.

    Does anyone else reading this have a sip address? I’d like to call some numbers in order to test out a softphone I utilize from Virbiage.



  2. Why not put ENUM numbers instead? :-)

    My ENUM is +65 96387085 which maps to

    You can find other ENUM # on

    Too difficult to remember SIP address? aha, thats why we need ENUM.

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