sip messaging

Understanding SIP Messaging Jargon: A Complete Guide

While you aren’t alone if you hate jargon, it does serve a practical function in pretty much every industry. Namely, it allows people who are in the in-group to talk about technical concepts easily. This means more competence and understanding of how issues regarding one’s job, field, or technology works, as well as easier communication among those who know the jargon.

When installing SIP trunking into your office (a great choice for increasing your productivity!), there are some terms you’ll need to learn in order to communicate with your providers and users to be as effective as possible. Without them, it’s likely that you’ll be left reeling by other companies that know the jargon and want to connect with you.

The Basics

Before you can even begin to think about installing SIP trunks, you need to understand the basic jargon. Read on to learn the two most basic and essential concepts relating to SIP.

Sessions Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Predictably, the first piece of jargon that you’ll need to know is “Sessions Initiation Protocol,” commonly abbreviated as SIP. This is the software that launches communications such as calling or messaging directly over a WiFi network. It allows programs to run over the internet to establish connections with an interlocutor.

SIP Trunks

SIP trunks are the software that’s installed to bring SIP into offices, homes, and anywhere else where SIP interactions take place. They refer to a series of telecommunications lines that establish connections between those in a chat or call. SIP trunking is the verb that refers to the use of SIP trunks.

Voice over Initiation Protocol (VoIP)

VoIP refers to the programs initiated by SIP. These are the actual software entities used to place the call. Well-known examples of services that rely on VoIP are Skype and Facebook Messenger. Basically, VoIP is any communications interface that relies solely on WiFi to establish connections.

The Hardware (And Software)

You’ll also need a basic knowledge of the tools and technology that makes SIP messaging and calling work. This means not only grasping the concepts, but also the words that refer to them. 

User Agent

The user agent is simply the person that initiates a SIP session. This person places the call or sends the message that will begin communication with an endpoint. In many situations, you’ll be the user agent.

Uniform Resource Indicators (URIs)

URIs are in charge of identifying the communications software and systems through which the user agent can maintain a SIP session. This means that they figure out what programs to run and how to do this.

URIs are essential to smooth SIP communications. There are also add-ons that can be used to maximize their efficiency.

SIP Peers

While the word “peer” may invoke the idea of an interlocutor, a SIP peer actually refers to the number on a virtual phone system. This number denotes the particular location (such as an IP address) that a user agent is initiating a session from. It can be created or managed by the person using the software.


A gateway refers to the virtual bridge that a connection is established over between computers. It basically converts signals from the user agent’s messaging or calling software into waves that travel to the interlocutor’s computer system. Think about communication waves traveling through cyberspace; that’s basically what a gateway is.

SIP Messaging Terms

Now that you know how all the hardware works, you’re likely wondering about SIP messaging.

SIP Session

A SIP session is exactly what it sounds like; the communications resulting from the initiation and use of a SIP trunk. This is begun because a user agent launches SIP.

It can mean a conversation that two people have over SIP messaging or calling networks. However, it can also refer to the initiation and use of various VoIP software.

SIP Request

A SIP request is one of the two kinds of SIP messages that creates a conversation. Specifically, a SIP request refers to the message that the person starting the conversation sends to the interlocutor. This message can either establish a connection or modify a session.

SIP Responses

The other kind of SIP message is called a SIP response. This is the result of the initial user agent’s request.

In many cases, this means the message that they receive in response to their initial message. However, in other cases, this can mean the sequence initiated by the user agent that makes a program run on the other end of their request.


A SIP “transaction” is the word for the complete request to response sequence that takes place between users. Once a person has sent a request message to the other end of a SIP communications line and the interlocuter has responded, a transaction has taken place.


A dialog refers to a set of transactions. When messaging happens (no matter the medium), people are going to send and respond to more than one message. This means that a dialog is sure to take place, meaning that it’s an essential word to know.

Get Started With SIP

Understanding SIP messaging can be a challenge; after all, there are so many terms to know! Fortunately, your life can be made easier with a little research and understanding of the concepts. It’ll all be worth it when your business is reaching all its productivity goals because of efficient communications!

Now that you’re an expert on all the jargon related to the messaging and hardware, it’s time to get started with installing some SIP trunks. Head over to our page to fill out a simple form and get started with SIP services in under a minute.

Free SIP Trunk in 60 Seconds

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