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RFC 5391 - RTP Payload Format for ITU-T Recommendation G.711.1


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Network Working Group                                         A. Sollaud
Request for Comments: 5391                                France Telecom
Category: Standards Track                                  November 2008

          RTP Payload Format for ITU-T Recommendation G.711.1

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2008 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (http://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.

Abstract

   This document specifies a Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) payload
   format to be used for the ITU Telecommunication Standardization
   Sector (ITU-T) G.711.1 audio codec.  Two media type registrations are
   also included.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Background ......................................................2
   3. RTP Header Usage ................................................3
   4. Payload Format ..................................................4
      4.1. Payload Header .............................................4
      4.2. Audio Data .................................................5
   5. Payload Format Parameters .......................................6
      5.1. PCMA-WB Media Type Registration ............................7
      5.2. PCMU-WB Media Type Registration ............................8
      5.3. Mapping to SDP Parameters ..................................9
           5.3.1. Offer-Answer Model Considerations ...................9
           5.3.2. Declarative SDP Considerations .....................11
   6. G.711 Interoperability .........................................11
   7. Congestion Control .............................................12
   8. Security Considerations ........................................12
   9. IANA Considerations ............................................12
   10. References ....................................................13
      10.1. Normative References .....................................13
      10.2. Informative References ...................................13

1.  Introduction

   The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T)
   Recommendation G.711.1 [ITU-G.711.1] is an embedded wideband
   extension of the Recommendation G.711 [ITU-G.711] audio codec.  This
   document specifies a payload format for packetization of G.711.1
   encoded audio signals into the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP).

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT","RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Background

   G.711.1 is a G.711 embedded wideband speech and audio coding
   algorithm operating at 64, 80, and 96 kbps.  At 64 kbps, G.711.1 is
   fully interoperable with G.711.  Hence, an efficient deployment in
   existing G.711-based Voice over IP (VoIP) infrastructures is
   foreseen.

   The codec operates on 5-ms frames, and the default sampling rate is
   16 kHz.  Input and output at 8 kHz are also supported for narrowband
   modes.

   The encoder produces an embedded bitstream structured in three layers
   corresponding to three available bit rates: 64, 80, and 96 kbps.  The
   bitstream can be truncated at the decoder side or by any component of
   the communication system to adjust, "on the fly", the bit rate to the
   desired value.

   The following table gives more details on these layers.

               +-------+------------------------+----------+
               | Layer | Description            | Bit rate |
               +-------+------------------------+----------+
               | L0    | G.711 compatible       | 64 kbps  |
               | L1    | narrowband enhancement | 16 kbps  |
               | L2    | wideband enhancement   | 16 kbps  |
               +-------+------------------------+----------+

                        Table 1: Layers description

   The combinations of these three layers results in the definition of
   four modes, as per the following table.

              +------+----+----+----+------------+----------+
              | Mode | L0 | L1 | L2 | Audio band | Bit rate |
              +------+----+----+----+------------+----------+
              | R1   | x  |    |    | narrowband | 64 kbps  |
              | R2a  | x  | x  |    | narrowband | 80 kbps  |
              | R2b  | x  |    | x  | wideband   | 80 kbps  |
              | R3   | x  | x  | x  | wideband   | 96 kbps  |
              +------+----+----+----+------------+----------+

                        Table 2: Modes description

3.  RTP Header Usage

   The format of the RTP header is specified in [RFC3550].  The payload
   format defined in this document uses the fields of the header in a
   manner consistent with that specification.

   marker (M):
      G.711.1 does not define anything specific regarding Discontinuous
      Transmission (DTX), a.k.a. silence suppression.  Codec-independent
      mechanisms may be used, like the generic comfort-noise payload
      format defined in [RFC3389].

      For applications that send either no packets or occasional
      comfort-noise packets during silence, the first packet of a
      talkspurt -- that is, the first packet after a silence period
      during which packets have not been transmitted contiguously --

      SHOULD be distinguished by setting the marker bit in the RTP data
      header to one.  The marker bit in all other packets is zero.  The
      beginning of a talkspurt MAY be used to adjust the playout delay
      to reflect changing network delays.  Applications without silence
      suppression MUST set the marker bit to zero.

   payload type (PT):
      The assignment of an RTP payload type for this packet format is
      outside the scope of this document, and will not be specified
      here.  It is expected that the RTP profile under which this
      payload format is being used will assign a payload type for this
      codec or specify that the payload type is to be bound dynamically
      (see Section 5.3).

   timestamp:
      The RTP timestamp clock frequency is the same as the default
      sampling frequency: 16 kHz.

      G.711.1 has also the capability to operate with 8-kHz sampled
      input/output signals.  It does not affect the bitstream, and the
      decoder does not require a priori knowledge about the sampling
      rate of the original signal at the input of the encoder.
      Therefore, depending on the implementation and the audio acoustic
      capabilities of the devices, the input of the encoder and/or the
      output of the decoder can be configured at 8 kHz; however, a
      16-kHz RTP clock rate MUST always be used.

      The duration of one frame is 5 ms, corresponding to 80 samples at
      16 kHz.  Thus, the timestamp is increased by 80 for each
      consecutive frame.

4.  Payload Format

   The complete payload consists of a payload header of 1 octet,
   followed by one or more consecutive G.711.1 audio frames of the same
   mode.

   The mode may change between packets, but not within a packet.

4.1.  Payload Header

   The payload header is illustrated below.

      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |0 0 0 0 0|  MI |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

   The five most significant bits are reserved for further extension and
   MUST be set to zero and MUST be ignored by receivers.

   The Mode Index (MI) field (3 bits) gives the mode of the following
   frame(s) as per the table:

                +------------+--------------+------------+
                | Mode Index | G.711.1 mode | Frame size |
                +------------+--------------+------------+
                |      1     |      R1      |  40 octets |
                |      2     |      R2a     |  50 octets |
                |      3     |      R2b     |  50 octets |
                |      4     |      R3      |  60 octets |
                +------------+--------------+------------+

                     Table 3: Modes in payload header

   All other values of MI are reserved for future use and MUST NOT be
   used.

   Payloads received with an undefined MI value MUST be discarded.

   If a restricted mode-set has been set up by the signaling (see
   Section 5), payloads received with an MI value not in this set MUST
   be discarded.

4.2.  Audio Data

   After this payload header, the consecutive audio frames are packed in
   order of time, that is, oldest first.  All frames MUST be of the same
   mode, indicated by the MI field of the payload header.

   Within a frame, layers are always packed in the same order: L0 then
   L1 for mode R2a, L0 then L2 for mode R2b, L0 then L1 then L2 for mode
   R3.  This is illustrated below.

         +-------------------------------+
     R1  |              L0               |
         +-------------------------------+

         +-------------------------------+--------+
     R2a |              L0               |   L1   |
         +-------------------------------+--------+

         +-------------------------------+--------+
     R2b |              L0               |   L2   |
         +-------------------------------+--------+

         +-------------------------------+--------+--------+
     R3  |              L0               |   L1   |   L2   |
         +-------------------------------+--------+--------+

   The size of one frame is given by the mode, as per Table 3, and the
   actual number of frames is easy to infer from the size of the audio
   data part:

      nb_frames = (size_of_audio_data) / (size_of_one_frame).

   Only full frames must be considered.  So if there is a remainder to
   the division above, the corresponding remaining bytes in the received
   payload MUST be ignored.

5.  Payload Format Parameters

   This section defines the parameters that may be used to configure
   optional features in the G.711.1 RTP transmission.

   Both A-law and mu-law G.711 are supported in the core layer L0, but
   there is no interoperability between A-law and mu-law.  So two media
   types with the same parameters will be defined: audio/PCMA-WB for
   A-law core, and audio/PCMU-WB for mu-law core.  This is consistent
   with the audio/PCMA and audio/PCMU media types separation for G.711
   audio.

   The parameters are defined here as part of the media subtype
   registrations for the G.711.1 codec.  A mapping of the parameters
   into the Session Description Protocol (SDP) [RFC4566] is also
   provided for those applications that use SDP.  In control protocols
   that do not use MIME or SDP, the media type parameters must be mapped
   to the appropriate format used with that control protocol.

5.1.  PCMA-WB Media Type Registration

   This registration is done using the template defined in [RFC4288] and
   following [RFC4855].

   Type name: audio

   Subtype name: PCMA-WB

   Required parameters: none

   Optional parameters:

      mode-set:  restricts the active codec mode set to a subset of all
         modes.  Possible values are a comma-separated list of modes
         from the set: 1, 2, 3, 4 (see Mode Index in Table 3 of RFC
         5391).  The modes are listed in order of preference; first is
         preferred.  If mode-set is specified, frames encoded with modes
         outside of the subset MUST NOT be sent in any RTP payload.  If
         not present, all codec modes are allowed.

      ptime:  the recommended length of time (in milliseconds)
         represented by the media in a packet.  It should be an integer
         multiple of 5 ms (the frame size).  See Section 6 of RFC 4566.

      maxptime:  the maximum length of time (in milliseconds) that can
         be encapsulated in a packet.  It should be an integer multiple
         of 5 ms (the frame size).  See Section 6 of RFC 4566.

   Encoding considerations: This media type is framed and contains
      binary data.  See Section 4.8 of RFC 4288.

   Security considerations: See Section 8 of RFC 5391.

   Interoperability considerations: none

   Published specification: RFC 5391

   Applications that use this media type: Audio and video conferencing
      tools.

   Additional information: none

   Person & email address to contact for further information: Aurelien
      Sollaud, aurelien.sollaud@orange-ftgroup.com

   Intended usage: COMMON

   Restrictions on usage: This media type depends on RTP framing, and
      hence is only defined for transfer via RTP.

   Author: Aurelien Sollaud

   Change controller: IETF Audio/Video Transport working group delegated
      from the IESG

5.2.  PCMU-WB Media Type Registration

   This registration is done using the template defined in [RFC4288] and
   following [RFC4855].

   Type name: audio

   Subtype name: PCMU-WB

   Required parameters: none

   Optional parameters:

      mode-set:  restricts the active codec mode-set to a subset of all
         modes.  Possible values are a comma-separated list of modes
         from the set: 1, 2, 3, 4 (see Mode Index in Table 3 of RFC
         5391).  The modes are listed in order of preference; first is
         preferred.  If mode-set is specified, frames encoded with modes
         outside of the subset MUST NOT be sent in any RTP payload.  If
         not present, all codec modes are allowed.

      ptime:  the recommended length of time (in milliseconds)
         represented by the media in a packet.  It should be an integer
         multiple of 5 ms (the frame size).  See Section 6 of RFC 4566.

      maxptime:  the maximum length of time (in milliseconds) that can
         be encapsulated in a packet.  It should be an integer multiple
         of 5 ms (the frame size).  See Section 6 of RFC 4566.

   Encoding considerations: This media type is framed and contains
      binary data.  See Section 4.8 of RFC 4288.

   Security considerations: See Section 8 of RFC 5391.

   Interoperability considerations: none

   Published specification: RFC 5391

   Applications that use this media type: Audio and video conferencing
      tools.

   Additional information: none

   Person & email address to contact for further information: Aurelien
      Sollaud, aurelien.sollaud@orange-ftgroup.com

   Intended usage: COMMON

   Restrictions on usage: This media type depends on RTP framing, and
      hence is only defined for transfer via RTP.

   Author: Aurelien Sollaud

   Change controller: IETF Audio/Video Transport working group delegated
      from the IESG

5.3.  Mapping to SDP Parameters

   The information carried in the media type specification has a
   specific mapping to fields in the Session Description Protocol (SDP)
   [RFC4566], which is commonly used to describe RTP sessions.  When SDP
   is used to specify sessions employing the G.711.1 codec, the mapping
   is as follows:

   o  The media type ("audio") goes in SDP "m=" as the media name.

   o  The media subtype ("PCMA-WB" or "PCMU-WB") goes in SDP "a=rtpmap"
      as the encoding name.  The RTP clock rate in "a=rtpmap" MUST be
      16000 for G.711.1.

   o  The parameter "mode-set" goes in the SDP "a=fmtp" attribute by
      copying it as a "mode-set=<value>" string.

   o  The parameters "ptime" and "maxptime" go in the SDP "a=ptime" and
      "a=maxptime" attributes, respectively.

5.3.1.  Offer-Answer Model Considerations

   The following considerations apply when using SDP offer-answer
   procedures [RFC3264] to negotiate the use of G.711.1 payload in RTP:

   o  Since G.711.1 is an extension of G.711, the offerer SHOULD
      announce G.711 support in its "m=audio" line, with G.711.1
      preferred.  This will allow interoperability with both G.711.1 and
      G.711-only capable parties.  This is done by offering the PCMA
      media subtype in addition to PCMA-WB, and/or PCMU in addition to
      PCMU-WB.

      Below is an example part of such an offer, for A-law:

         m=audio 54874 RTP/AVP 96 8
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000

      As a reminder, the payload format for G.711 is defined in Section
      4.5.14 of [RFC3551].

   o  The "mode-set" parameter is bi-directional; i.e., the restricted
      mode-set applies to media both to be received and sent by the
      declaring entity.  If a mode-set was supplied in the offer, the
      answerer MUST return either the same mode-set or a subset of this
      mode-set.  The answerer MAY change the preference order.  If no
      mode-set was supplied in the offer, the anwerer MAY return a mode-
      set to restrict the possible modes.  In any case, the mode-set in
      the answer then applies for both offerer and answerer.  The
      offerer MUST NOT send frames of a mode that has been removed by
      the answerer.

      For multicast sessions, if "mode-set" is supplied in the offer,
      the answerer SHALL only participate in the session if it supports
      the offered mode-set.

   o  The parameters "ptime" and "maxptime" will in most cases not
      affect interoperability.  The SDP offer-answer handling of the
      "ptime" parameter is described in [RFC3264].  The "maxptime"
      parameter MUST be handled in the same way.

   o  Any unknown parameter in an offer MUST be ignored by the receiver
      and MUST NOT be included in the answer.

   Below are some example parts of SDP offer-answer exchanges.

   o  Example 1

      Offer: G.711.1 all modes, with G.711 fallback, prefers mu-law
         m=audio 54874 RTP/AVP 96 97 0 8
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMU-WB/16000
         a=rtpmap:97 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
         a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000

      Answer: all modes accepted, both mu- and A-law.
         m=audio 59452 RTP/AVP 96 97
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMU-WB/16000
         a=rtpmap:97 PCMA-WB/16000

   o  Example 2

      Offer: G.711.1 all modes, with G.711 fallback, prefers A-law
         m=audio 54874 RTP/AVP 96 97 8 0
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=rtpmap:97 PCMU-WB/16000

      Answer: wants only A-law mode R3
         m=audio 59452 RTP/AVP 96
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=fmtp:96 mode-set=4

   o  Example 3

      Offer: G.711.1 A-law with two modes, R2b and R3, with R3 preferred
         m=audio 54874 RTP/AVP 96
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=fmtp:96 mode-set=4,3

      Answer: accepted
         m=audio 59452 RTP/AVP 96
         a=rtpmap:96 PCMA-WB/16000
         a=fmtp:96 mode-set=4,3

      If the answerer had wanted to restrict to one mode, it would have
      answered with only one value in the mode-set, for example mode-
      set=3 for mode R2b.

5.3.2.  Declarative SDP Considerations

   For declarative use of SDP, nothing specific is defined for this
   payload format.  The configuration given by the SDP MUST be used when
   sending and/or receiving media in the session.

6.  G.711 Interoperability

   The L0 layer of G.711.1 is fully interoperable with G.711, and is
   embedded in all modes of G.711.1.  This provides an easy G.711.1 -
   G.711 transcoding process.

   A gateway or any other network device receiving a G.711.1 packet can
   easily extract a G.711-compatible payload, without the need to decode
   and re-encode the audio signal.  It simply has to take the audio data
   of the payload, and strip the upper layers (L1 and/or L2), if any.

   If a G.711.1 packet contains several frames, the concatenation of the
   L0 layers of each frame will form a G.711-compatible payload.

7.  Congestion Control

   Congestion control for RTP SHALL be used in accordance with [RFC3550]
   and any appropriate profile (for example, [RFC3551]).

   The embedded nature of G.711.1 audio data can be helpful for
   congestion control, since a coding mode with a lower bit rate can be
   selected when needed.  This property is usable only when multiple
   modes have been negotiated (either no "mode-set" parameter in the SDP
   or a "mode-set" with at least two modes).

   The number of frames encapsulated in each RTP payload influences the
   overall bandwidth of the RTP stream, due to the header overhead.
   Packing more frames in each RTP payload can reduce the number of
   packets sent and hence the header overhead, at the expense of
   increased delay and reduced error robustness.

8.  Security Considerations

   RTP packets using the payload format defined in this specification
   are subject to the general security considerations discussed in the
   RTP specification [RFC3550] and any appropriate profile (for example,
   [RFC3551]).

   As this format transports encoded speech/audio, the main security
   issues include confidentiality, integrity protection, and
   authentication of the speech/audio itself.  The payload format itself
   does not have any built-in security mechanisms.  Any suitable
   external mechanisms, such as the Secure Real-time Transport Protocol
   (SRTP) [RFC3711], MAY be used.

   This payload format and the G.711.1 encoding do not exhibit any
   significant non-uniformity in the receiver-end computational load,
   and thus they are unlikely to pose a denial-of-service threat due to
   the receipt of pathological datagrams.  In addition, they do not
   contain any type of active content such as scripts.

9.  IANA Considerations

   Two new media subtypes (audio/PCMA-WB and audio/PCMU-WB) have been
   registered by IANA.  See Sections 5.1 and 5.2.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

   [ITU-G.711.1] International Telecommunications Union, "Wideband
                 embedded extension for G.711 pulse code modulation",
                 ITU-T Recommendation G.711.1, March 2008.

   [RFC2119]     Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                 Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3264]     Rosenberg, J. and H. Schulzrinne, "An Offer/Answer
                 Model with Session Description Protocol (SDP)", RFC
                 3264, June 2002.

   [RFC3550]     Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V.
                 Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
                 Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, July 2003.

   [RFC3551]     Schulzrinne, H. and S. Casner, "RTP Profile for Audio
                 and Video Conferences with Minimal Control", STD 65,
                 RFC 3551, July 2003.

   [RFC4288]     Freed, N. and J. Klensin, "Media Type Specifications
                 and Registration Procedures", BCP 13, RFC 4288,
                 December 2005.

   [RFC4566]     Handley, M., Jacobson, V., and C. Perkins, "SDP:
                 Session Description Protocol", RFC 4566, July 2006.

   [RFC4855]     Casner, S., "Media Type Registration of RTP Payload
                 Formats", RFC 4855, February 2007.

10.2.  Informative References

   [ITU-G.711]   International Telecommunications Union, "Pulse code
                 modulation (PCM) of voice frequencies", ITU-T
                 Recommendation G.711, November 1988.

   [RFC3389]     Zopf, R., "Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) Payload
                 for Comfort Noise (CN)", RFC 3389, September 2002.

   [RFC3711]     Baugher, M., McGrew, D., Naslund, M., Carrara, E., and
                 K. Norrman, "The Secure Real-time Transport Protocol
                 (SRTP)", RFC 3711, March 2004.

Author's Address

   Aurelien Sollaud
   France Telecom
   2 avenue Pierre Marzin
   Lannion Cedex  22307
   France

   Phone: +33 2 96 05 15 06
   EMail: aurelien.sollaud@orange-ftgroup.com

 

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