Developing new methods of internet communications

Millions of people worldwide use 3G mobile phone networks to talk, send messages or take part in video-conferencing. These are all based on pioneering research at University College London.

skype call

In the 1990s the UCL computer science department developed protocols and prototypes to set up and ensure the quality of calls between multiple participants using internet-based networks.

Their work led to the development of modern communication techniques which use two internet standards created by UCL: Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Session Description Protocol (SDP).

UCL’s research has directly benefited many global communications companies. Used in most 3G and newer mobile telephone networks, SIP and SDP are also used in communications systems and in software available for laptops and smartphones made by Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Siemens and Polycom among many others. Apple’s popular FaceTime videoconferencing software, which is included with every iPhone, iPad and MacBook, sets up calls using SIP.

 

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