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Optical/IP

Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call

A VOIP wakeup call to incumbent carriers was issued earlier this week at the Voice On the Net (VON) Europe conference in London.

Incumbents were told that their future lies in providing facilities to help customers use VOIP services, such as SIP (session initiation protocol) servers. Although this might undermine their existing PSTN revenues in the short term, they’d be saving their bacon in the long term, said Richard Stastny, project manager at ÖFEG, a consultancy owned by Telekom Austria AG (NYSE: TKA; Vienna: TKA), itself an incumbent carrier.

Right now, many incumbents have a flawed strategy on VOIP, Stastny says. They’re still trying to protect PSTN revenues rather than facing up to the fact that they’re going to dwindle to nothing sooner or later.

Get the dire details on Boardwatch.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch



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billstewart 12/4/2012 | 11:54:50 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call Most of the high-tech industry ends up in this dilemma if they manage to be successful at something long enough to have an embedded base - Do you introduce the new product or technology that will make your revenue base obsolete? How fast should you push it? Can you make money selling it as a managed service instead? Can you use the new technology as an internal cost-reduction method before it takes over as a competing product from either your competitors or from those hardware vendors? Can you use the lower costs to increase market volume to make up for the price changes?

The big difference between doing that in telecom as opposed to, say paint or fuel-efficient cars or honest governments is that Moore's Law means that if you don't do it fairly quickly, somebody else will try it in 2-3 years when the cost advantage has proved in, and either you're going to barbecue your own cash cow for lunch or somebody else is going to. So you also have to decide if you've got enough customer relationship and deep applications knowledge that you can win in the new market if you do develop the technology, or if you should jump ship and join one of the startups.
aswath 12/4/2012 | 11:54:45 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call What is not clear for me is the need for SIP servers. Given end-to-end signaling capability, can't the end users call each other directly? That is why I feel that there is no market for VoIP service providers and that we should be focusing on the consumer appliance market.

Aswath
alchemy 12/4/2012 | 11:54:43 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call The problem with the fully distributed SIP signaling architecture is that there's no way to manage QoS. You're strictly doing best-effort voice and you have no control over delay, jitter, or dropped packets in the flow. It's also a challenge to cope with all the regulatory issues. Who gets sued when someone dials '911' from a SIP phone and gets reorder tone? How to you comply with J-STD-025A for CALEA wiretapping laws? If you're running a SIP phone over a broadband link provided by an ILEC or an MSO who both offer competing pay-telephony services, what's to prevent them from traffic shaping to ensure that your SIP call gets horrible QoS?
IP Everywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:54:38 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call Why are you making SIP into the answer to the common cold. SIP does not need to the answer to many of the questions below. There are perfectly fine protocols and mechanisms for the things you ask about below. To try to make SIP into the covering set of all IP and Telephony protocols is fundamentally broken. This is a differnt model. Take a look at the session controller vendors (Kagoor, Netrake, Acme, Jasomi, etc.) if you need to understand these points. Admittedly this is an expensive solution now but for how long? These functions will get commoditized.
IP Everywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:54:36 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call At least in the short term, the guys like IBASIS have a great model. Take in PSTN, convert to LD over IP (sorry for the mixing of concepts there), convert back to PSTN on the other side. THis saves large amounts on international LD charges (not the same as the 2c/min LD charges.. much more expensive). Not end to end but still quite an interesting market. IBasis is #10 in LD minutes!
aswath 12/4/2012 | 11:54:33 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call alchemy: The problem with the fully distributed SIP signaling architecture is that there's no way to manage QoS. You're strictly doing best-effort voice and you have no control over delay, jitter, or dropped packets in the flow.
Aswath: Many (to wit - Pulver's Free World Dialup) claim that unmanaged network provides good enough performance.
alchemy: It's also a challenge to cope with all the regulatory issues. Who gets sued when someone dials '911' from a SIP phone and gets reorder tone? How to you comply with J-STD-025A for CALEA wiretapping laws?
Aswath: CALEA is not my problem. It is between my ISP and the LEA. Probably they need to use "Carnivore". Today I can use voice chat on the Internet using Netmeeting without a mediating service provider. As far 911 is concerned, the end customer has to identify their own mechanism - one example will be a cell phone. I understand that even an unsubscribed phone will offer 911 service.
alchemy: If you're running a SIP phone over a broadband link provided by an ILEC or an MSO who both offer competing pay-telephony services, what's to prevent them from traffic shaping to ensure that your SIP call gets horrible QoS?
Aswath: It will be a losing battle. How will they identify the flow; will they monitor and interpret all forms of message exchanges to infer the ports?

The point of my original post is that with proper consumer devices, broadband access subscribers can realize the benefits of VoIP today without needing any other service provider. An implication of this is that the incumbent has nothing to gain by accelerating the arrival of VoIP.
dljvjbsl 12/4/2012 | 11:54:32 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call
If SIP location servers are considered equivalent to DNS servers then it is one thing


The location servers are a lot more than DNS servers. Please learn a little about telehony and you will see why an infrastrcutre is required.

Question 2
What will happen to a pure p2P service if a user turns off his device? It rather defeats the purpose of voice services, doesn't it?
dljvjbsl 12/4/2012 | 11:54:32 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call All I can say about this is that the people on this thread should actually learn a little bit about telephony and how SIP works.

First question -- how do users of IP telpeony who are personally mobile find each other without SIP location servers?

SIP is a well though out system with a few major limitations. The people here who suggest using NetMeeting should, with respect, learn something about the services that SIP is capable of providing. It really is quite revolutionary and will change how the type of services that will be offered both by the Internet and by telpehoy. Nits about CALEA are easily awnswered.

aswath 12/4/2012 | 11:54:32 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call I indicated that Netmeeting allows for peer-to-peer communication without the need for a mediating service provider only to suggest that that may be true for SIP architecture as well.

If SIP location servers are considered equivalent to DNS servers then it is one thing; but as the original report suggested that the incumbents can realize revenue from deploying such servers, then I have a problem. From whatever I have learnt about telephony and SIP and the services people envision do not require subscribing to the services provided by a service provider. I stand by what I have said.

Aswath
aswath 12/4/2012 | 11:54:31 PM
re: Incumbents Get VOIP Wakeup Call Evidently I need to learn about telephony, so I will do that. Meanwhile I will also design a device that a user does not have to turn off.

Aswath
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