Light Reading

VOIP Parasites Take Heart

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
Repost This

SAN JOSE, Calif. –- Voice Over the Net Conference -- Is there really a big business in delivering VOIP services? Absolutely, but attendees insist VOIP is not about saving opex in the trunk of the network. The point of getting into VOIP is to have something else to bundle along with video, data, and wireless services -- and POTS won't cut it.

Service providers here say they can't afford to be consigned to the role of merely delivering bandwidth. Vonage Holdings Corp., for example, rides in on the broadband provider's network to deliver VOIP services. The broadband provider, however, delivers dumb bandwidth at a price that it can't get away with raising. One Cleveland-based ISP executive even went so far as to describe Vonage as “parasitic.”

So how are things faring between the parasites and their hosts? In a roundabout answer, we present some final bits and bobs from the VON show:

  • SIP This: Some service providers are reticent about SIP technology, preferring instead to remain with the H.323 signaling protocol that dominates networks today. But there's high hopes that everyone will come around to SIP soon. Large suppliers such as Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY), Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) are home-growing or partnering to offer end-to-end SIP-based solutions to carriers.

    Many of these solutions, such as Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Communicator 2005 and Nortel’s Converged Multimedia Services (CMS) solution are being built for the enterprise, which some apparently believe to be VOIP’s beachhead to wider acceptance by the consumer market. Microsoft and Nortel are developing multimedia front ends that combine voicemail, IM, and IP voice in a tightly integrated package for businesses. These products typically involve partnerships between the supplier of the front-end applications (Microsoft, AOL, Nortel), an IP PBX supplier such as Alcatel’s Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc., and a softswitch provider such as Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS).

  • Gear Smear: Several sources here say that service providers are indeed spending big money on VOIP infrastructure now, but wish to keep it under the covers and have sworn their suppliers to secrecy. However, some deals were brought to light during presentations in the conference sessions this week, such as AT&T’s relationship with Canadian media server maker Convedia Corp. Other alliances were brought to light in the exhibit hall. Light Reading learned that AT&T is using Xten Networks Inc. SIP softphones; the (AT&T-branded) softphones appeared briefly at the AT&T booth, but were quickly removed after their cover was blown.

  • Strange Bedfellows: VOIP infrastructure vendors say they often have to buddy up with sworn enemies in order to get a shot at good carrier bucks. Veraz Networks Inc.'s Ed Camarena, senior director of product marketing, says the game of who partners with whom all depends on the preferences of the service provider.

    “When we are doing an IP Centrex bid, sometimes we may bring Sylantro in as a partner, and in another circumstance we may be partnering with BroadSoft Inc. and competing against Sylantro Systems Corp."

    Camarena says the open standards and interoperability with which many VOIP network elements are now built allows carriers to buy tailor-fit, multi-vendor solutions. The “lead” vendor, he says, often supplies products but also acts as a systems integrator, bringing in various partners that contribute specific functionality.

  • Comebacks and Encores: The VON convention began in 1993 as a PSTN show and grew steadily throughout the 90s. VON’s founder, Jeff Pulver, sold the thing at the height of its popularity during the telecom boom, and bought it back again at pennies on the dollar after the telecom recession had set in. The show has reportedly quadrupled in size since 2001, with around 6,000 in attendance at this year's show here in San Jose.

    Rock band Heart played the big VON bash on Wednesday night, news that had many scrambling to their rock-n-roll history books to see whether the band is now on its ninth or tenth comeback tour. Truth is, it doesn't matter. Heart rocked pretty hard, despite the fact they never wore as much hairspray as Poison, and never wore quite as much makeup as KISS.

    — Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Flash Poll
    LRTV Custom TV
    Optimizing SDN & NFV Architectures Through Application Awareness

    4|23|14   |   6:24   |   (0) comments

    Jerome Tollet, CTO at Qosmos, explains how network equipment vendors and operators deploying SDN and NFV can take advantage of network intelligence delivered by DPI to strengthen products and services.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

    4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments

    Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

    4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments

    US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

    4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments

    Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

    4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments

    Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

    4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment

    Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

    4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment

    At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

    4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments

    Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

    4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments

    Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

    4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments

    Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

    4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments

    Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

    4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments

    Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
    Hot Topics
    WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
    The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
    Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
    What's the Magic of Private Equity?
    Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
    AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed