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technonerd
technonerd
12/5/2012 | 1:54:20 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
We have seen countless startups fail (for an enormous number of reasons) mainly because their technology was too far ahead of its time for useful mass adoption. The recipe for maximum success has to include a generous portion of meeting the timing of the consumer and providing a non-scary path for getting there.
Outstanding post, Steve. I wish I had $1 for every propellerhead who described users as idiots and newbies, etc., when in fact the fault lay with the idiots who designed a product that no one but a fellow geek could figure out.
technonerd
technonerd
12/5/2012 | 1:54:20 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Given that this is your unshakeable belief, how do you account for the changes taking place in private networks.
At the outset of this debate, I said that there were some niche markets for VoIP. One is international toll arbitrage. Another is some -- emphasis on some -- large enterprises. That one is also a toll arbitrage game, too.

Then I remembered that the RBOCs also have reason to go to VoIP, or at least to claim to do so while in fact likely implementing Channelized Voice over DSL. That's also a regulatory game.

There is no technological reason to implement VoIP, nor is there any service-related reason. It's all an arbitrage game of one sort or another.
technonerd
technonerd
12/5/2012 | 1:54:19 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
As a consumer, voice is just another type of data.
Anyone who says this is not a typical consumer. To a typical consumer, phones are for talking and e-mail is for writing.


I can send email and surf all around the world, for a flat fee. Why o why must I pay per minute when I talk over POTS?
Because email and surfing only need best-efforts delivery, while voice is a real-time, full-duplex service that demands much more capability from the service provider. And it has much more economic value, as evidenced by peoples' willingness to pay more for it.


Why does it cost so much more to talk to someone in another country? If I can send my packets flat-fee over the Internet, why can't I talk all over the world for a flat fee?
These are all regulatory artifacts. They have nothing to do with the underlying technology.


I don't want the RBOCs or telcos to bill me based on distance and minutes. I don't want them to keep track of my usage at all.
Oh come on, let's be honest. You don't want to pay for anything. Neither do I. But that's not how things work. One way or the other, people are going to pay for telecom.


I was hoping VoIP was going to give me this. Why is nobody talking about this? Why are you only discussing the benefits of VoIP for telcos? And not the consumer?
There is absolutely nothing about VoIP that prevents billing for the time taken by a call, or the distance between the two (or more) parties. The fact that VoIP isn't billed that way now doesn't mean it can't be billed that way in the future.

Too many propellerheads, fraudsters and technology "journalists" (read: promoter's assistants) have led too many naive consumers to believe that "the Internet" will make telecom services "free." Well, you'd better get over it, because nothing of the sort will happen.


And no, I don't care about 99.999% reliability. I don't care about quality.
Unfortunately, I suppose, the landline PSTN voice network is built to provide both. Propellerheads just hate it, because it forces them to actually make shit that works if they hope to sell it. Most people want to pick up the phone and hear a dial tone, first time-every time.


GSM is a huge success, and quality and reliability are not 99.999% neither in GSM. That's proof enough for me that the majority of people are willing to sacrifice a little reliability and quality for something else like mobility and price.
I would agree that people have been willing to trade off availability and quality for mobility. I would also note that, as the mobile networks continue to be built out and gain customers, the expectations have been rising.

There is growing demand for QoS and availability, as evidenced by Verizon having made this a competitive focal point in the United States. As for VoIP, it offers no benefit in return for lower QoS and availability.

At the consumer level, VoIP isn't even cheaper. Look, only 20% of the population has broadband. For the other 80%, a VoIP connection is considerably more expensive given that you'd have to pay $30-$50 a month for broadband and then whatever you'd pay to Vonage, etc. on top of that. Plus new equipment in your house, etc.

Sorry, but VoIP is a geek toy and a regulatory play.
Tony Li
Tony Li
12/5/2012 | 1:54:18 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks

Stephen,

You ask why we should consider merging technologies. The economic answers are clear: running two networks is more expensive than one. The carriers must cut costs somehow. Even if the result is that most new deployments go to the packet network while legacy and life-critical deployments stay on the circuit network, the carriers will be able to avoid extremely costly capacity upgrades to the circuit side.

Thus, the future will be a mixture: the circuit side will continue to support some services and it will not get decomissioned in anything like our lifetime. Most new services will be deployed on the packet network. And all of this feuding is pretty much for naught, because the economics of the situation are pretty compelling.

Tony
Tony Li
Tony Li
12/5/2012 | 1:54:17 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks

The case for VoIP is quite clear and it arrives in the mail monthly. If I can make phone calls and not pay POTS rates for them, then that should make my bill cheaper. As a consumer, I can make the choice of the technology that I want to use to make my call. Yes, VoIP is not identical to analog, but for the vast majority of situations, it's perfectly adequate. This is acceptable to the vast majority of consumers. Consider cell phones. The quality of the call and the reliability are nowhere near matching the average land line. However, consumers are willing to pay more for the feature of mobility. The consumer can and quite reasonably will enjoy some economic benefit from VoIP. And that's what makes this technology compelling. Even at $.05 a minute, long distance costs too much.

I'll also point out that I've visited several large organizations where they've deployed VoIP for their own internal usage. They find that it simplifies the wiring problem and has proven reasonably reliable. While it has less of an impact on their long distance bills (because the folks that they are calling are still on POTS), even the cost improvements due to savings on internal phone calls and location flexibility have paid off handsomely. Once the technology matures a bit, watch out.

Tony
aswath
aswath
12/5/2012 | 1:54:16 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Sorry to be pedantic, but this is the second post that equates analog to circuit and packet to digital. It is just plain wrong and for me it just shows the person's bias against TDM and detracts from the other points being made.
aswath
aswath
12/5/2012 | 1:54:15 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Msg. #44

Most new services will be deployed on the packet network.

Since this is a predictive statement, I can not argue against this. But I would like to know why. Is it because, those services can not be supported in the TDM environment? If so, can you give an example of such services?
dljvjbsl
dljvjbsl
12/5/2012 | 1:54:15 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks

Given that this is your unshakeable belief, how do you account for the changes taking place in private networks.


At the outset of this debate, I said that there were some niche markets for VoIP. One is international toll arbitrage. Another is some -- emphasis on some -- large enterprises. That one is also a toll arbitrage game, too.


Given that the sytems being deployed go down to key systems range of 20 lines or less and given that the manufacturers are withdrawing their TDM products, this would seem to be completely wrong.

Customers large and small are buying private IP systems. This is what Greg Mumford says in the article that you did not understand.

So this is not a niche market and it is not a toll bypass market. It is the main stream private voice system market.

Now are these people all part of your giant 'VoiP to beat the regulators' conspiracy.
technonerd
technonerd
12/5/2012 | 1:54:13 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Even if the result is that most new deployments go to the packet network while legacy and life-critical deployments stay on the circuit network, the carriers will be able to avoid extremely costly capacity upgrades to the circuit side.
I think this would depend heavily on the market served. In North America and Europe, there is no capacity problem with the TDM network. In fact, its capacity is expanding without capital spending owing to the impact from migration of dial-up internet access to broadband.

This reduces call hold times and demands on switching fabric. To be sure, it badly depresses sales of LU and NT big iron, but those low sales numbers paint a hugely misleading picture of "decline" of POTS.

In essence, the 1990s saw a lot of POTS capacity additions well in advance of actual demand, given that most second lines were for dial-up modems. Now that this is being reversed, the TDM network is fairly static in terms of capital spending. At least on the landline side.

This does not, however, mean that voice is somehow going to migrate en masse to IP access schemes. IP is unsatisfactory for voice for a wide variety of reasons. To the extent it has any appeal, that appeal is rooted in regulatory arbitrage not anything else.


Thus, the future will be a mixture: the circuit side will continue to support some services and it will not get decomissioned in anything like our lifetime.
Most of the equipment has long since been paid for. It wouldn't make sense to yank it out. There are no cost advantages to IP; quite the contrary, in fact.


Most new services will be deployed on the packet network. And all of this feuding is pretty much for naught, because the economics of the situation are pretty compelling.
The economics of VoIP are driven by regulatory arbitrage and are thus artificial. As for new services, I agree that if someone gets serious about video conferencing then IP will matter in a huge way. Other than that, I have yet to see any compelling services unique to IP.
stephenpcooke
stephenpcooke
12/5/2012 | 1:54:12 AM
re: Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks
Tony,

You have already stated that two networks will exist for 'anything like our lifetime'. So the question remains: Why would any carrier spend money to take working, revenue-generating, paid-for equipment out of their network and replace it with anything, especially something that will facilitate a drastic reduction in their operating revenues? The opex savings that have been touted completely ignore the cost of changing out the old system and retraining the operations personnel among a long list of other considerations.

The only business case available for any new technology is for overbuilds and adding revenue-generating capacity or features in key or new (eg: new subdivisions) markets. How many times does it have to be stressed that no one will, or should, even consider making significant capital expenditures that will effectively REDUCE operating revenues. These are the sort of brain-dead economics that have killed many a startup.
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