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Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:25:06 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN
Packet Man,

I agree with you and Geoff, VoIP is truly in a class by itself and should not be compared to circuit voice. ;-)

zher 12/5/2012 | 1:25:06 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN just like MPLS vs ATM. IP rocks.
gbennett 12/5/2012 | 1:24:57 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN Comrades,
a common theme that's come up in the live events and webinars I've organised over the last few months is this...

Whatever new thing we were discussing (eg. packet voice), there's a suggestion that if you're just using this technology to do the same old stuff in a different way then you're missing the point.

Someone gave the example of web-based voicemail in this thread. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like a genuinely useful feature. Of course there's no reason you couldn't have web-based VM on a conventional PSTN service, but the VM would use a different infrastructure from the voice service (which would presumably cost more).

In Skype, I like the fact that you've got all your contacts on a simple list, and you can see if they're on line. You can send an Instant Message to them instead of making a call if you want to. I assume in the future, Skype will evolve to have file transfer and whiteboarding capabilities just like NetMeeting and other messenger services. The difference with Skype is that it works over my crappy (and soon to be upgraded) ISDN connection. And it works through my firewall without me having to change a thing.

When I get proper broadband next month, I will be trying out FWD more seriously because it's standards-based, and I get cute features like a free US telephone number.

I don't know if Jeff, or anyone else from Pulver.com is reading this thread, but I'd definitely suggest making the setup of FWD clients less complex. It's fine for those of us who understand what proxies and codecs and stuff mean, but not so straightforward for my mum!

aswath 12/5/2012 | 1:24:55 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN Re. Msg. #21

...but the VM would use a different infrastructure from the voice service (which would presumably cost more).

Yes, it needs to have a connection to the Internet. Is this the additional cost you are thinking of or there is more to it?

[with FWD] I get cute features like a free US telephone number.

I don't think this is true, but a good way to find out whether anyone from pulver.com is reading this thread. :-)
vinay 12/5/2012 | 1:24:48 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN I agree with Geoff and others on the thread. VoIP is a pretty disruptive technology and Telco will face the ramifications of that. It is not to say that Telco's will go away. It is not that hard for the RBOCs and the IXCs to move to VoIP technology. However the issue is where will VoIP get deployed?
Will it be in the first mile or the core?
Smart money will bet that it will be in the core.

Without changing the user experience (stuff like running Skype clients, DSL connections, lack of 911 service), a carrier can start deploying the VoIP technology in the core. This is where the carriers will realize the most bang for the buck. After that whether carriers push VoIP all the way up to your phone jack is a decision left to the market conditions.

Vinay Bannai
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 1:24:05 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN The problem with the term VoIP is that it has too many incarnations with very varied service attributes. A Skype or Vonage that relies on a best-effort network that's not designed to be five 9's is a very different service from that being rolled out by the MSOs where QoS is ensured and the network and control is fully redundant with fast protection switching at least down to the CMTS. ...and this service is completely different from a 3G wireless architecture where, once again, the only attribute in common is that voice is being pushed through the network using IP.

Personally, if I were a telco or MSO offering broadband service, I certainly wouldn't want my network to perform all that well when it's hauling traffic intended for a competitor. The ILECs pretty much killed off their CLEC competitors by feigning cheerful incompetence when asked to rent out a local loop or port a number. I don't see what prevents the ILECs and MSOs from doing the exact same thing to the best-effort voice providers. If you 'mistakenly' type in a few bad routes or 'accidentally' have some bad DNS data, you can make most best-effort services run really lousy.
deweyduck 12/5/2012 | 1:23:18 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN I don't think VoIP wins at all.

Concerning Skype or Vonage et al

If they are using the cable or dsl, is there any reason that the cable company or RBOC wouldn't simply turn off the ports they use thereby stopping their service? Where is the business case of Skype or Vonage except to use some other businesses network.
greyhair 12/5/2012 | 1:21:23 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN > If they are using the cable or dsl, is there any reason that the cable company or RBOC wouldn't simply turn off the ports they use thereby stopping their service?

Hey, I pay for that connection, and if they block a port, I am going to go prehistoric on their butts.

Seriously, Verizon sells me DSL service that I am very happy with, and they place virtually no limitations on my use. Yes, I cannot SMTP forward through there mail servers, but that is a separate service that they provide in addition to DSL connectivity. Verizon is in the business of selling DSL, and they know that encumbering it with restrictions would drive customers away. I can select two others DSL providers in my region, so I am not locked into a supplier.

I am using Vonage, and I am quite happy with the service except for one limitation, and that is the echo cancellation fails if the delay is excessive, which is true when calling to some cell phones. Other than that, the call quality is great. I have not had any calls dropped, including 1 hour calls to my brother.

Packet Man 12/5/2012 | 1:20:02 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN Your comment:
IMHO VoIP has a few hurdles to overcome first:
1. Power fail operation. The PSTN is powered by central office battery and works without local power. IP phones (and terminal adaptors like the Cisco ATA) need local power.

My comment:
I'm not sure so I agree with the point and its outcome. I say that because if the cable pair goes open, the phone also goes dead, and we wait 2 days for it to get fixed. If the power goes off, I use my cell phone. If its urgent my VoIP stays up I plug it and my router into my UPS.

Your comment:
2. Emergency 911 geographic location and callback. PSTN phone numbers define a geographic location - IP addresses do not. While one can "register" the location of an IP phone there is nothing to prevent the IP phone from moving to a new location. This isn't a problem until the ambulance shows up at the old location.

My comment:
From what I gather many of the VoIP players are working to get this resolved. But I think this is a moot point...because I have been hearing that GPS technology is being (or planned to be) embedded in the phone. So if we embedd GPS into a cell phone and a VoIP phone, and add GPS support to a modern '911 switchboard' they will know exactly where you are.

Your comment:
3. Hardware cost. You can buy a working PSTN telephone at the corner store, in a bubble pack, for $5 retail. Sure, it'll be a cheap plastic phone - but it works.

My comment:
Today you can buy a LInkSys router (which most people are buying) with two VoIP POTS ports built in for about $80. Plug in your old analog phone, spend 15 minutes on the Internet, and prestoo you have just self-provisioned yourself one or two phones lines.

Your comment:
4. Standards. PSTN standards are 130 years old. If you take a 100 year old WOODEN phone and plug it in (ok, you'll have to change the connector ;-)...it WILL still work! You can even dial a number if you practice a bit with the flash hook. And you can do this anywhere on the planet that has copper pairs. By contrast your 5 year old PC is embarrassing garbage because it won't run current OS software or applications. (This is just an example of the difference between telecom standards and datacom standards. The analog phone system is a 100 year old global standard.)

My comment:
Don;t bring PCs and OS into this...that stuff is an embarrashment. :-) As for global telecom standard that is not true either. North Amercian standrds are very different that other parts of the world. IP, DNS, and VoIP are much more standardized that the PSTN ever was or will be, plus VoIP can be very very simple. In a few years, as the dust settles, and our teens/young adults (who have never known life without the Internet) become the next working/buying generation the PSTN business model will simply collapse.

Your comment:
VoIP certainly does have immediate and growing applications but it ain't gonna displace the PSTN, not anytime soon. If you were wondering how many analog phones there are out there - the answer is ALL OF THEM. The current PSTN is installed globally. We won't rip it out to use:

My comment:
We may not have to rip it out.... if enough people switch over to VoIP in the next 5 years, the business model of the PSTN may not float anymore...in that case, they will turn it off for us.

Just my two CDN cents worth. :-)
Packet Man 12/5/2012 | 1:20:01 AM
re: VOIP vs PSTN So you walk into your local 'big box 2000' computer store and buy one of these:


Then you got to your web browser, or pop in a CD and basically do one of these:

Why would anyone want to pay a whack of money to wait 2 or 3 days to have a PSTN phone installed, only to pay a higher monthly fee for a line with 'good enough' sound quality??.....when instead I can go click click click click, wait, pick my nose, done !!! Dial-tone........and I'm not sure how some of these VoIP players are doing it, I think they are using STUN, but I take my DLINK VoIP gateway ANYWHERE, and plug it in any network with high-speed accesss (YES ANYWHERE EVEN BEHIND NAT) and it works !!!


With PSTN you are the dog on the lease....with VoIP, you are the person holding the lease, and that is VoIP will experience the critical mass 'explosion' in the next few years.....the consumer is in control, not the 'phone provider'. Why would I pay some big old Canadian monopoly a bunch of money for plain old telephone services, when I can pay a fraction to some SIP provider in China, who offers me services up the ying yang?....and in a few more years I won't pay anyone anything, because I will be able to buy my own little Internet 'presence box', that will be my family/business communicator, and it will tie VoIP to DNS...you want to call me from your VoIP phone, just click here!
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