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Optical/IP

A VOIP Thought

3:30 PM -- One of the interesting snippets from Simeon Simeonov about a possible Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) phone is that the search giant could build VOIP support into an own-brand mobile device. (See Google Spy: Big Team Picking Up Phone.)

It's a pretty obvious logical jump to wonder if such a device could then be used on Google's WiFi mesh network in Mountain View and beyond. Of course that brings up its own set of issues. Will VOIP work properly on a mesh network? How secure will it be?

I don't know the answers to these kinds of questions yet. But it won't be long before dualmode phones become more commonplace and we get to find out.

I suspect VOIP services on mesh could probably range anywhere from alright to really bad. If it's cheap enough it'll be appealing to plenty of people though.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 3:10:54 PM
re: A VOIP Thought While all sleek design and high tech properties of several multi-radio technology devices admittedly upped the ante in recent announcements, not one of them offers a convincing solutions for some or even all of the following issues yet - some of them are of course far outside the realm of just the device:

a) "Out of the box" or automated re-configuration across radio interfaces
b) Reliable connection (it works wherever you are without reconfiguration requirements)
c) Function across multiple access service providers across radio interfaces
d) Transparent and predictable cost model (you know before the month what to expect on your bill at the end of the month)
e) Reasonable battery life (instead of loosing 2/3 to 1/2 of your battery life whenever you enable WiFi)
f) End to end service efficiency (instead of killing battery life, bandwidth and CPU performance by blindly using software clients that replicate inefficiencies in traffic and execution patterns that are common when people have originally developed for fixed line broadband connectivity)

Considering that all of this on has to compete with the simplicity, convenience and trust that consumers have come to (rightfully) expect from communication services, WiFi will still have a far way to go. While its utility for non-conversational offerings like surfing of messaging has created at least somewhat acceptable solutions with regard to usability, it will still have to massively improve across all listed criteria before getting any mass market traction.

Only when becoming usable for conversational services GÇô currently really the only ones commonly used and known by the proverbial GÇ£man on the streetGÇ¥ GÇô will this approach unfold the far reaching impact that technology proponents are hoping for. For most of the communication service audience this all is still pretty far ahead in the learning curve.

Considering the (commercial as well as technological) complexity of several of the listed issues, it is hard to see which value chain model in this industry could move enough cash into the Meshed/WiFi Access World in order to make service delivery and infrastructure maintenance in any way sustainable. Certainly the less fragmentation investors have to bear with, the better for them, and the more reliable, sustainable and convenient will the overall experience can be for their customersGǪ.
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