As the industry increasingly moves to more interoperable standards-based solutions and away from proprietary technology, events like the recent SIPit33 event gain greater importance. Organized by the SIP Forum, SIPit events are the world’s premier interoperability testing venues for SIP, bringing together leading SIP application developers, service providers and IP communications equipment manufacturers to ensure their SIP implementations work seamlessly together in an IP network testing environment.
The purpose of SIPit events is to test for interoperability of SIP implementations, to determine the source of incompatibilities, inform new standards work, and drive refinement of the specifications. The main focus of the most recent SIPit event, SIPit 33, was on Secure Telephone Identity (STI) related technologies. This includes protocols and industry-initiated efforts around STIR/SHAKEN in the U.S. as well as some similar and related efforts happening internationally. STIR/SHAKEN is an industry standard that stands for (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) STIR / (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) SHAKEN.
The goal of STIR/SHAKEN is to restore the end user’s confidence and trust in receiving phone calls by enabling service providers to authenticate, sign and verify caller identity to protect their customers from malicious attacks, nuisance and robocalls. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that US service providers, unless granted an exception, implement the STIR/SHAKEN standard by June 30, 2021 and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also mandated that all Canadian service providers implement STIR/SHAKEN by November of 2021 – so the movement towards securing telephone calls is definitely gaining international momentum.
Ribbon proudly participated at SIPit33 to test the interoperability of our STIR/SHAKEN solution with other vendors’ solutions.
STIR/SHAKEN is a highly competitive market in North America with several vendors offering various solutions. So, it is critical that these solutions from different vendors can seamlessly communicate with each other. For example, if one vendor’s STI-AS is signing a call then STI-VS of another vendor should be able to verify the call.
Ribbon’s STIR/SHAKEN solution is already qualified for base SHAKEN interoperability in the ATIS Robocall test bed. SIPit33 provided an excellent opportunity to test the interoperability of our solution for some of the newer features and functionality such as Rich Call Data (RCD), Certificate Delegation, Diversion and Resource Priority Header (RPH) for 911 calls. We successfully executed interoperability tests of basic SHAKEN signing/verification and signing/verification of the SIP Diversion header.
One of the most exciting areas at SIPit33 was around Rich Call Data. Because RCD implementation is still evolving, vendors are adopting various methods such as sending RCD claims in a separate identity header and inserting RCD claims in SHAKEN identity header etc. We were able to successfully test these and other scenarios.
SIPit33 was instrumental in helping improve Ribbon’s STIR/SHAKEN solution ‘s deployment in a multi-vendor ecosystem. We are already experiencing a number of successes with our STIR-SHAKEN solutions including customer wins with Intrado, Peerless , Controlled Network Solutions and other leading service providers. At Ribbon, we pride ourselves on helping our customers evolve and protect their communications network with interoperable, standards-based solutions. That is one of the many reasons why we are looking forward to participating in the next SIPit event!