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Media Gateway Control Protocol

Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) is a protocol used for controlling Voice over IP (VoIP) Gateways from external call control elements. MGCP is the emerging protocol that is receiving wide interest from both the voice and data industries. MGCP is defined in an informational (non-standard) IETF document, RFC 3435 , which obsoletes an earlier definition in RFC 2705 . It superseded the Simple Gateway Control Protocol (SGCP) .

MGCP is a protocol for controlling media gateways from call agents. In a VoIP system, MGCP can be used with SIP or H.323. SIP or H.323 will provide the call control functionality and MGCP can be used to manage media establishment in media gateways.

Characteristics of MGCP:
• A master/slave protocol.
– Assumes limited intelligence at the edge (endpoints) and intelligence at the core (call agent).
– Used between call agents and media gateways.
– Differs from SIP and H.323 which are peer-to-peer protocols.
• Interoperates with SIP and H.323.

For example
– A call agent accepts SIP or H.323 call setup requests.
– The call agent uses MGCP to control the media gateway.
– The media gateway establishes media sessions with other H.323 or SIP endpoints.

• MGCP divides call setup/control and media establishment functions.
• MGCP does not replace SIP or H.323. SIP and H.323 provide symmetrical or peer-to-peer call setup/control.


Related RFCs:

RFC 2705 - Media Gateway Control Protocol 1.0 (obsolete)

RFC 3435 - Media Gateway Control Protocol 1.0

RFC 3660 - Basic Media Gateway Control Protocol Packages

RFC 3515 - The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Refer Method

RFC 3661- MGCP Return Code Usage


MGCP References:

OpenSource MGCP Stack

MGCP Protocol

MGCP Mailing List