Introduction to SigtranSigtran is a working group of the IETF, formed in 1999, and tasked with defining an architecture for the transport of real-time signalling data over IP networks. Its work culminated in not just the architecture, but also the definition of a suite of protocols to carry SS7 and ISDN messages over IP. This protocol suite is made up of a new transport layer - the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) and a set of User Adaptation (UA) layers which mimic the services of the lower layers of SS7 and ISDN. This paper describes the Sigtran architecture and protocol suite. It starts by outlining the network architecture within which the Sigtran suite applies - effectively, defining the problem solved by SCTP and the UAs. It continues to describe the protocol requirements for transporting signalling information over IP - presenting an argument why existing protocols (such as TCP) are not suitable for this purpose. Finally, the UA layers themselves are discussed - covering both their functionality and their applicability.
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