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The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an IETF-defined signaling protocol widely used for controlling communication sessions such as voice and video calls over Internet Protocol (IP). The protocol can be used for creating, modifying and terminating two party (unicast) or multiparty (multicast) sessions. Sessions may consist of one or several media streams.
Other SIP applications include video conferencing, streaming multimedia distribution, instant messaging, presence information, and file transfer.
The SIP protocol is an Application Layer protocol designed to be independent of the underlying Transport Layer; it can run on Transmission Control Protocol(TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), or Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). It is a text-based protocol, incorporating many elements of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).