SIP transports

From the SIP RFC 3261:



All SIP elements MUST implement UDP and TCP. SIP elements MAY implement other protocols.

Making TCP mandatory for the UA is a substantial change from RFC 2543. It has arisen out of the need to handle larger messages, which MUST use TCP, as discussed below. Thus, even if an element never sends large messages, it may receive one and needs to be able to handle them.


If a request is within 200 bytes of the path MTU, or if it is larger than 1300 bytes and the path MTU is unknown, the request MUST be sent using an (RFC 2914) congestion controlled transport protocol, such as TCP. If this causes a change in the transport protocol from the one indicated in the top Via, the value in the top Via MUST be changed. This prevents fragmentation of messages over UDP and provides congestion control for larger messages. However, implementations MUST be able to handle messages up to the maximum datagram packet size. For UDP, this size is 65,535 bytes, including IP and UDP headers.


  • There are experimental IETF Drafts on SIP over STCP


Back to SIP
From the SIP RFC 3261:



All SIP elements MUST implement UDP and TCP. SIP elements MAY implement other protocols.

Making TCP mandatory for the UA is a substantial change from RFC 2543. It has arisen out of the need to handle larger messages, which MUST use TCP, as discussed below. Thus, even if an element never sends large messages, it may receive one and needs to be able to handle them.


If a request is within 200 bytes of the path MTU, or if it is larger than 1300 bytes and the path MTU is unknown, the request MUST be sent using an (RFC 2914) congestion controlled transport protocol, such as TCP. If this causes a change in the transport protocol from the one indicated in the top Via, the value in the top Via MUST be changed. This prevents fragmentation of messages over UDP and provides congestion control for larger messages. However, implementations MUST be able to handle messages up to the maximum datagram packet size. For UDP, this size is 65,535 bytes, including IP and UDP headers.


  • There are experimental IETF Drafts on SIP over STCP


Back to SIP
Created by: oej, Last modification: Mon 15 of Sep, 2003 (18:33 UTC)
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