H.323 | Signaling Protocols in Detail

H.323 is an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) specification that defines how to establish both the signaling and the bearer channels. The goal was to use the call signaling from ISDN, a call control protocol for renegotiating calls as they are ongoing, and a registration protocol, to provide for an all-encompassing solution. (Compare how SIP defines only registration, call signaling, and merely basic call control.) However, the process was different, and the H.323 technology suffers from the typical emphasis on layering and precise botanical definitions of technologies that haunts the world of telecommunications.

H.323's major advantage, compared to SIP, is that it contains the complete protocol definition for the application, covering features such as media reservation and conference negotiation that SIP leaves alone. H.323 is also able to pull together a number of other ITU definitions and technologies, into one larger umbrella. Because of the ITU protocols' amount of definition for media applications, H.323 is still the signaling protocol of choice for many videoconferencing applications.
That being said, H.323's relevance for voice is waning. For that reason, we will stick to H.323 at a higher level than we did with SIP.


H.323 Architecture

H.323 has a somewhat similar architecture to SIP. Figure q shows this architecture.


Figure 1: H.323 Architecture
The endpoints are known as terminals. The terminals must register with the registrar, which is now in a function known as the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper is the PBX, and has complete responsibility for administration, user definitions, registration, and routing. Gateways are now special devices that are specifically called out for bridging signaling and media between two different networks.
H.323 uses a protocol known as H.225.0 for call setup signaling. H.225.0 itself is a package that refers to Q.931 for call signaling definitions. (This sort of nesting is typical for telecommunications definitions). The good news is that it stops at Q.931, and we can identify it. ITU Q.931 is the call signaling protocol used in ISDN lines. H.225.0 also includes the Registration, Admission, and Status (RAS) protocol, used by the client to register with the network.
The registration function is, therefore, defined by RAS. When a phone comes online, its first task is to use RAS to find a gatekeeper (from a known or discovered list) that is willing to let it register. Once it does that, it then requests to register. After the registration is complete, the phone is ready to send or receive calls.
To place a call, the phone sends an admission request to the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper's job is to find out where the other endpoint is, by looking up in its extension or routing tables. The result will be an acceptance or rejection. If the result is an acceptance, the gatekeeper will also respond with the contact information for the other endpoint. Notice that the model here is based on admission control. The gatekeeper is allowed to monitor voice resources, and reject calls purely on the basis of there not being enough resources. In any event, the caller now has the contact information of the called party, so the caller contacts the called party directly to attempt to establish the call. This direct contact is done using Q.931 signaling over IP. If the called party is willing to accept the call, the called party must contact its local gatekeeper with an admission request. If that is granted, the call is ready to be finalized.
H.245 plays the role of establishing what the bearer channel will hold. H.245 was designed to provide the information necessary to set up the bearer channels over RTP, and so takes the place of SIP's SDP. H.245 exchanges the codec and bearer capabilities of each endpoint, and is used to negotiate what bearer technology to use. This can be done in a manner that works for multiple-party calls, and in this way is useful with teleconferencing.
It is still possible to find softphones and open source technology that supports H.323, especially because of the videoconferencing aspect. However, voice mobility networks are unlikely to see much of H.323.

3 comments:

SHEIKH said...

I wanted to know that how to create the signals .You providing all info here about signaling in details. Keep post here these soft of knowledge.

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