H.323 is suggestion by the ITU
Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) H.323 is an ITU
Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) suggestion that outlines
protocols for the distribution of Audio-Visual (A/V) communication sessions on
all packet networks. It became a recognised standard in 1996 and H.323 along
with its family of ITU-T recommendations provides multimedia communication
services across a variety of networks. The standards are important because they
outline how H.323 complaint components facilitate calls, share compressed A/V
and work in conjunction with non-H.323 endpoints. H.323 is similar to SIP in
that both support VoIP and multimedia communications, however H.323 favours the
telecommunications-orientated approach to VoIP whereas SIP prefers the
internet-orientated approach. H.323 is widely implemented by voice and video
conferencing equipment makers and is commonly used with different types of
internet real-time applications e.g. NetMeeting and GnuGK; service providers
deploy it globally for VoIP and video services over IP networks. H.323 is
important because it provides standards for equipment, computer systems and
multimedia communication services on packet based networks. It also outlines
transmission protocols for real-time AV. End-users can communicate using the
Internet to use the variety of H.323 standard compatible products. The H.323
standard is dependent on the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) Real-Time
Control Protocol (RTCP) and Real-Time Protocol (RTP) along with other protocols
for AV, data communication as well as call signalling. H.323 defines four types
of components when connected with other networks offers point-to-point and point-to-multipoint
multimedia communication services. These components are a. Terminals e.g. LAN client
endpoints, b. Gateways e.g. enjoins two different networks, c. Gatekeepers e.g.
core point for each call inside its zone and d. Multipoint Control Units (MCU) e.g.
support for conferencing. 

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