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VoIP Advances And Trends For 2004 151

gardel writes "So everyone's top-tech predictions for 2004 says it will be the year of VoIP. What does that really mean? This may narrow it down. Here's Voxilla's list of the top-10 advances and trends in the world of VoIP. On the list: VoIP and cellular converges, IP phones take over, Chinese and Mexican phone numbers come to the U.S., Asterisk hits it big. What would you add?"
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VoIP Advances And Trends For 2004

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:57PM (#7855837)
    With or without VoIP regulation, a global P2P (PSTN-connected) voice network emerge..

    How? The article talks about Asterix-to-asterix networks bypassing telcos totally. Also VoIP providers routing IP only to each other to end call termination costs.

    I beleve that the Larger Asterix networks and VoIP providers will enter into call peering agreements just like the early internet.

    It start out as hobbyists setting up Asterisk Open Source PBX boxes connected to their home POTS line.

    Will some form of ENUM allow least cost routing to boxes sitting in basements and garages around the world?

    If an ITSP in Europe can setup an Asterisk box with PSTN access and start offering US phone numbers and vice-versa, will global number plans become obsolete? What effect will the ridiculously low barrier to entry for VoIP have on telecommunications?

    2004 Will be interesting indeed.

    --
    gnaa-RKZ - Support your local community [anti-slash.org]
  • Monopoly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sparklingfruit ( 736978 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @06:58PM (#7855850)
    Just because VoIP involves voice, that does NOT mean it's the same as telephone service. The monopolistic nature of telephone service (only one company can realistically have lines in a given area, particularly in the "last mile") makes heavy regulation and regulatory fees necessary. VoIP does not suffer from this physical limitation to competition, and thus any number of VoIP providers can exist in any area. This is yet another blatant attempt of government to cash in on an emerging technology.
    • Re:Monopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cgranade ( 702534 ) <cgranade&gmail,com> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:04PM (#7855881) Homepage Journal
      Not exactly. Consider that VoIP requires, by nessesity, an IP network such as the Internet. Currently, this IP network exists in most homes by one of several methods: dial-up, cable or DSL. In two of those three cases, it is the POTS provider (telco) that enables VoIP, and in the third, it's a cable provider. In all of these cases, the IP provider has a natural monopoly. Thus, while the VoIP service itself may not be a natural monopoly, the prerequisites generally are.
    • Re:Monopoly (Score:4, Insightful)

      by frisket ( 149522 ) <peter @ s i l m a r i l .ie> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:57PM (#7856164) Homepage
      I hate to pour cold water on the ideas, but forecasts of VoIP taking over in 2004 are spectacularly off-target.

      Why? Local IP access for too many Internet users is still limited by 56Kb/s dialup, which is too slow for reliable, comprehensible voice exchange. Providers emerging from the rat's nest of former state telco monopolies have been unable to introduce anything remotely resembling a widespread DSL service at a sensible cost (remember ISDN? :-)

      Perhaps in city areas in the USA we will see VoIP start to make it, but for the real world it's simply a myth (but I would adore to be proved wrong!)

      • Providers emerging from the rat's nest of former state telco monopolies have been unable to introduce anything remotely resembling a widespread DSL service at a sensible cost (remember ISDN? :-)

        Well DSL is sooner or later going to die at the fate of cable. DSL providers are pretty much selling it under cost (for those charging under $50.00). Verizon is beating up local ISP's offering DSL by taking a loss selling their DSL ($39.00), and for those of you who also work at ISP and have to deal with Verizon, I

  • Not just IP... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:02PM (#7855872) Journal
    Intel is currently working furiously on a cellular chip that will seamlessly roam to WiFi networks. They also want it to carry prodigous amounts of data. Known as the Digital Briefcase [intel.com] specification, any compliant PC will automagically recognize the phone and allow you to log into the PC as if it were your own. Mail, favorites, documents/music and even wallpaper and settings will appear seamlessly. Check out my sig for more...

    POTS will die a quick death unless the big TelCos start lobbying for taxes. Slashdotters move these companies up on the list of Evil entities.
    • Re:Not just IP... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mage Powers ( 607708 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:11PM (#7855925) Homepage
      I don't really know too much about VoIP, but what happens when the power goes out? Like I've only had 4 power outages in the last 10 or so years, but still, what if it happens? I know one advantage POTS has is that it usually works... Having VoIP for voice calls overseas is great, but what if the POTS system is gone, power is out, and people can't call for help?

      Course my telco has never really caused me grief so I'm not biased against them.
      • POTS at my house doesn't work when the power goes out, but I think it's our fault for using fancy phones.
        • Most telephone companies will rool out VOIP switches, replaceing older gear. The customer will remain on POTS and wont even know that somewhere at the end of thier block there is a bos that changes the data to ip packets and tehn somwhere at a central office it can either be changed back to a analog signal or if that telephone company has a IP connection to other telcos then it can stay IP.
          I really think people get very confussed when talking about IP, I know I still do, it is a a technology that can mean m
        • Our cordless handset has a warning sticker advising one to have an ordinary wired phone available in case of emergency.
      • I don't really know too much about VoIP, but what happens when the power goes out?

        There's a simple solution for that. It's called a cell phone. Works great during a powercut. Welcome to the late, rather than the early 20th century. The combination of VOIP and cell phone gives you high availability *and* cheapness.

      • All of our wireless access points (over 1,000) are powerd over ethernet. Why not your voip phone?
      • When I sold Cisco IP phones in the past we always tried to get the clients to buy inline powered switches. Because the switches were hooked up to UPS's people were still able to get power and dial tone if the power went out.
    • Re:Not just IP... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thedillybar ( 677116 )
      Has anyone come up with software for PDAs that will allow you to roam WiFis and use VoIP?

      Or at least work in progress? It seems someone could develop software before Intel could develop (and market) a chip specifically for this purpose.
      • Has anyone come up with software for PDAs that will allow you to roam WiFis and use VoIP?
        • IP Blue [ipblue.com] has a product called VT-GO
        • Cisco Systems [cisco.com] has a product called Softphone [cisco.com]. The new version, coming soon, will be named IP Communicator.

        There are others, these are the two I am familiar with.

  • Voxilla = gardel (Score:4, Informative)

    by HardcoreGamer ( 672845 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:13PM (#7855935)

    gardel [slashdot.org]: at least have the courtesy to admit that Voxilla IS YOUR SITE.

    Check gardel's previous posts [slashdot.org] if you don't believe me.

    If you're going to self-promote, be up front about it.

    • Re:Voxilla = gardel (Score:3, Informative)

      by gardel ( 110754 )
      I did not place this here anonymously and used my email address at voxilla.com. I'm not entirely ceertain how else to be up front about it.
      • shame on you (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by segment ( 695309 )
        I'll make sure that SoIP [scumgroup.com] does NOT work with your products manwhore
      • Re:Voxilla = gardel (Score:5, Informative)

        by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:19PM (#7856255) Homepage
        I did not place this here anonymously and used my email address at voxilla.com. I'm not entirely ceertain how else to be up front about it.

        Just looking at the post, I have no idea who you are or that you're associated with Voxilla in any way.

        Typically it's good manners to end your submission with "(disclaimer, I run Voxilla)" or something similar. Ever noticed how Slashdot editors write similar statements when they post stories about Newsforge, or ThinkGeek, or those other OSDN pages?
        • Re:Voxilla = gardel (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gardel ( 110754 )
          Thanks for the advice. And, in the future, I will do just that. But I do feel the need to point out that, in the story submission form, there is a field for "your home page", where I did enter voxilla.com. I made no effort to cloak my association with Voxilla. In the past, I have communicated with slashdot editors who know exactly what my role with the site is.

          It's really an honor to have slashdotters read the content we put together on Voxilla. We work hard on the site and think there is useful material t
          • But I do feel the need to point out that, in the story submission form, there is a field for "your home page", where I did enter voxilla.com

            Did you? In the story text, your name is not a clickable link. IIRC, your name is supposed to be a link to the URL that you gave. Personally, I've never heard of Voxilla and I've never seen you before (I never pay too much attention to people's usernames anyway. Perhaps I've seen your posts before, but the name "gardel" is genuinely new to me). I honestly had no idea
      • I can totally understand links in the average article getting slashdotted, but dude you linked to an article on your own site and STILL couldn't keep the site up? Harsh.

        I'll bet if you posted on /. that you're looking for a competent system administrator, you'd find one.

        • Actually, what I'm really looking for is a host that keeps promises. Moved to a new server because of similar previous problems during traffic spikes and was told the server is more than capable. I'm very unhyappy, very embarrassed and very sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Marcelo,

        Could you recommend VOIP software to be used to connect directly from one computer to another, without an intermediary, using the sound cards in the computers? Is there any such software that is open source? I don't see links to such software on your web site.
        • There's several old H.323 conferencing applications around, but I don't believe that there's any {0|o}pen {S|s}ource SIP applications functional yet, which is what most people mean by "VOIP" these days.

          If your principles aren't so strong that they make you refuse to use stuff that's being given away for free, though, you could always grab our X-Lite softphone and sign up with Free World Dialup or the like.

          http://www.xten.com/ [xten.com]

          • I looked at the Xten software. I just want to connect with a friend in France. I don't need SIP. I would just like to use the sound card for sound. I want to avoid use of a server for making connections, because all the companies will soon begin charging for this unnecessary service.

            Skype [skype.com] works perfectly. The sound quality is better than regular telephones. However, there are some problems: 1) Skype is made by the same people who made KaZaa. Possibly it has hidden functions like KaZaa does. I've already
            • Are you associated with Xten?

              I do the OS X version of the client and the Linux/BSD sides of the X-Tunnels, X-Cipher, and X-Vox products. Basically "the all non-Windows OS code person".

              Your resume looks interesting, but I don't see any mention of XTen.

              That's because the resume only gets updated when I'm actively looking for work, which hasn't been since I started here.
          • > but I don't believe that there's any {0|o}pen {S|s}ource
            > SIP applications functional yet

            Actually, I think KPhone [sourceforge.net] is exactly along those lines.
    • by JPriest ( 547211 )
      I though it was one of the more informative things I have seen posted to slashdot in a while. He makes no attempt to hide that it is his site.
  • Asterisk (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seanadams.com ( 463190 ) * on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:17PM (#7855962) Homepage
    I am currently setting up an asterisk PBX with polycom ip phones and VOIP for outgoing calls. It is incredible software. I have no doubt that in the next year or two, it will become one of the most important open source projects, right up there with Linux and Apache.

    The software does have a steep learning curve (not worse that any other telco system though). Be prepared to spend a few weeks just getting a basic system with a couple of phones to go. However, once you get it up and going, it is very easy (and cheap!) to expand.

    Asterisk will totally replace the current PBX and key systems, and it will also play a key role in destroying the traditional overpriced channelized telco services.
    • Re:Asterisk (Score:4, Interesting)

      by muonzoo ( 106581 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:45PM (#7856115) Homepage
      Yes, BUT; Asterisk has some growing up to do. It isn't a standards BASED system. Sure, it implements standards, but the SIP support was ad-hoc and an afterthought. I'm not trying to take away from the amazing accomplishments on this project, however before it storms the masses, it's going to have to speak SIP at the expected interoperable level that we all expact from Apache and HTTP. Imagine if you could only view Apache pages in Mozilla, or, that images wouldn't work in IE, only Mozilla. These are real problems. Once Asterisk has that level of interoperability with OTHER IP based voice systems, it will be posed to really clean up. Exciting indeed, but some time will have to pass first.
      • Re:Asterisk (Score:3, Informative)

        by DarthBart ( 640519 )
        Having been an Asterisk developer for several years now, I tend to agree with the ad-hoc support of standard protocols (SIP and the ongoing battle between chan_h323 and chan_oh323). However, these days you don't see any more incompatibilities between * and other equipment than you would between, say, a Multitech MVP410 and a Cisco 7960 SIP phone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The advantage is that you can sniff the SIP/H323 session, figure out which end isn't following standards and adapt * t
    • Re:Asterisk (Score:2, Interesting)

      by el_flynn ( 1279 )
      I totally agree with you. I've also just finished an * install and waiting for the client to review it. The deployment is for an IVR system, with a possible future enhancement of accessing corporate data and relaying info like the caller's account information etc. Which speaks volume about the product because it's basically a PBX system.

      Most of my experience with * is via trial-and-error, reading the newsgroup postings, posing questions for help etc a-la the normal open source way of doing things, and it

  • by BritGeek ( 736361 ) <biz@COMMAmadzoga.com minus punct> on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:22PM (#7856000)
    I've never personally understood this mania that the POTS folks have for dragging all of the old telephone system baggage into VOIP. Why on earth should we perpetuate the same old nonsense of "area codes" & "country codes"? (They are completely artificial & capricious anyway.) What's wrong with dialing someone by their IP address, that's what I want to know?
    • by Squareball ( 523165 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @07:36PM (#7856074)
      Why IP and not by e-mail address? Think about it, e-mail is a way for some one to contact you through text, well why not just say that e-mail is a way to contact you which ever way you wish. Why not have everything done to your e-mail address?

      Then if you have a cell phone and a home phone why not have it setup like cell.myaddress@host.com? Dialing by IP would be too much to remember. I can hardly remember a regular phone number now! But I know just about every one's e-mail address by heart because it's just english and not a string of numbers.
      • This is how the SIP protocol works. You dial by URL, not by phone number. Look up the relevant RFCs for more.
      • Why IP and not by e-mail address?

        Ring. Ring.
        Me:
        Hello?
        SIP call:Stop wasting money! Enjoy holiday savings on Marlboros and more, with free shipping!
        click
        Ring. Ring.
        Me:
        Hello?
        SIP call: Get the AMAZING penis patch!
        click
        Ring. Ring.
        Me:
        Hello?
        SIP call: Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Nigerian Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request for your assistance to transfer the sum...
        click
        Me:
        rip 7960 out of ethernet por
      • But what if you have multiple email addresses?
        Would you be able to asign all of them to the same phone?

        What if you only have one email address?
        Would that mean that you are giving your phone number to everyone on the internet?

        Will we start getting spam to our phones?
        I can just imagine answering the phone to a stephen hawking clone offering you viagra at a SUPER LOW PRICE!!!!!1!!

        I, for one, don't think that voice should be integrated into the current communications over the internet. The Infrastr
      • Why email address? It should be yet another record in your dns entry. How are we going to remember your email address any better then an ip when its Squareball1974is3l33t@some.free.isp.com ?
    • Because the end-user would have to contact a third-party unreliable service to track a phone number (think whois)? Because there are far more telephone users than connected computers (think there's no NAT)? Because people would have to re-adjust all their contact info (I get chills down my spine just thinking of it)?
    • Dial by IP? Lets see which IP will you dial me by today since I get on the internet through a DSL service provider who periodically switches my IP address. Fixed IP you say? Well certainly the IPv4 will run out then. You going to remember an IPv6 address? For all your friends? Maybe we don't need phone numbers, but dialing by IP is not very well thought out either.
    • If they move to allow people to dial using IP addresses, then they should use IPv6. However, most people would prefer some kind of email like address, but computers would be quite happy storing and using the IPv6 numeric codes.

      The downside, would be vastly increased spamming. With Mozilla, spam gets automatically junked, but how do you do that with voice, once you pick the phone up...


      P.S. Please don't tell your president about the large pointed structure in the centre of Dublin, He'd probably think
    • Area codes and phone numbers are totally artificial, but at some point the actual infrstructure isn't artificial. Even IP addresses are allocated roughly in a geographic pattern, primarily to ease the routing burden for border routers and create better summaries. If you're dialing their IP address, chances are high that you ARE dialing a country or regional code but don't realize that the IP assignment was largely from a regionally assigned pool.

      Clearly what's needed is not region codes or country codes,
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hooray - now phones can have the same coverage and reliability as broadband Internet. What a leap forward.
  • Skype (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Skype [skype.com] will be one of the shakers. 5 million downloads, soaring up with exponential curve, still in beta but over constantly over 100K users online at the same time.

    Unless they sell it away, there is no reason why Skype would not shake the market similarly as Kazaa did. Expect atleast to see the Telcos to read the law in new and inspiring ways to stop the rush.
  • by cfuse ( 657523 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:12PM (#7856230)
    So everyone's top-tech predictions for 2004 says it will be the year of VoIP. What does that really mean?

    Instead of "your call is important to us" you get a 404 error.

  • Another reason why we should go over to the IPv6 standard as soon as it's mature. If everyone wants VoIP we have to get more IPs.

    The hack called NAT can probably be hacked even more to do this, but it would've been a lot easier if we used the almost infinite pool of IPs accessible through IPv6.

    A new domain should also arise dedicated to naming of IPs. Easier with name + city, instead of those nice long IPs? :)

    I'm not very familiar with VoIP, so correct me if I'm wrong.
  • I wonder if at some point phone numbers and gateways to the conventional phone system as we know them today become irrelevant.
    • I think they probably will, but cellphone technology (and most recently, the available of "portable numbers" for them) will breathe a little more life into the phone number concept first.

      In fact, I could even see where a switchover to IP based telephony would be made more seamless to the general public by offering DNS type services that convert your phone number into your assigned IP address.
  • there are many ways to do this now, cheaply and easily too.

    hook up headphones and a mic to your pc and use any one of the free service websites, I don't want to name them, as I dont wish to seem like promoting them, and I'm sure you can find them on your own.

    Also, where I live at least, there is a USB Phone you can buy for about $40, it's basically just a standard phone that plugs into your USB port, and you can call ANYONE in the world who has a USB phone, even another brand name.

    And the software is fre
    • Man do people get confussed the topic of VOIP does not just pretain to your home internet connection what you might think you are getting away with calling someone over the unreliable internet.
      THis has much much more to do with telephone companies changing out billions of dollars of older analog voice switching equipment to what will be ip a IP packet switched infrastructure.
      It is a really big deal, and has a huge possibilities.
      It is simply a matter of time before most interal telphone company traffic is IP
    • So there you go, the beginning of the end for telco's is here, their days are numbered

      Except for those telcos who reinvent themselves as communication infrastructure providers.
      Whether they provide POTS or only IP connections, they'll still be in the business of connecting customers, or providing backbone infrastructure to ISPs.

      Those who fail to reinvent themselves will become extinct though.
  • IAXprovider.net (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Graabein ( 96715 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:31PM (#7856336) Journal
    Shameless plug:

    IAXprovider.net [iaxprovider.net] is the site for people who want to network their Asterisk systems (IAX is the protocol Asterisk uses to talk to other Asterisk instances) with other Asterisk users.

    The site is intended as a hub for Asterisk users to meet up, network and take over the world of telephony.

  • I've seen a few people touch on this comment already, but I thought I'd state it in my own words: Why would you regulate something you don't know for certain is going to be a standard? It's almost like regulating the sales of pet rocks or cabbage patch dolls because they look like they might be the next big thing. Sure, things flare up and look wildly popular for a time, but did you actually think that beanie babies would replace currency?

    The only reason to regulate a utility is when the importance of a u

  • by isdnip ( 49656 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @08:41PM (#7856398)
    The problem with VoIP is that it isn't half as good as people think it is -- there are certainly good niche applications, and ways to use it profitably, but it simply isn't the be-all and end-all. Why do people fawn over it so much? I think it's largely because "IP" has that "k3w1" quality of the Internet in general, while phones are passe -- hardly a good way to make rational decisions.

    This paper is pretty useful:
    http://klamath.stanford.edu/~nickm/papers /HotNets0 2-IP_conquest_of_the_world_with_authors.pdf

    In the meantime, VoIP grows because some countries allow it to be used for a sort of regulatory arbitrage. It popped up before the rules covered it, or they didn't know how to deal with it, so it got special favored treatment. That's not the same as saying it is "unregulated"! In the USA, long distance is almost unregulated, but the local telephone monoplies are regulated -- they have a stake in how much they can charge for VoIP calls that use their networks the same way other long distance calls do. Expect an interesting year at the FCC while this is debated.

    I do not expect computer-to-computer VoIP to be regulated (in the USA) at all; it's simply not anyone's but the users' to deal with. But of course some cable or DSL providers might try to block it, in order to sell their own phone services -- that'll be interesting to watch.
  • Great topic.

    I am the IT cheif on a 300ft fishing vessel. We are in the process of rolling out a wireless network that will cover 90 percent of the areas on the boat. The network will be used by administration, engineering, the deck department, the galley and the processing staff.

    One of the selling points for this network was VoIP using Pocket PC based PDAs or SIP phones. While I have found several freeware clients, I have yet to find a windows based sip server that I can test (a trial period). Merlin 1.1
  • Where can I get a VoIP phone service (and a cheap yet good deal for a VoIP phone)? Can't find information on how to get VoIP in your home anywhere. I want to do this cause as I understand it, you aren't charged for long distance because (of course) your conversation is being transmitted over the internet. This means I'll have the luxury of calling anywhere in the US (and possibly the world) without a long distance fee.)
  • VOIP is OK if you really, really need to save money, but often it's more important to be able to reach somebody immediately on a line where you can actually understand each other, all of the time.

    It's a similar problem with the deep discount long distance carriers in the US and elsewhere. Usable if you don't expect it to work all the time, and if you don't mind delays, echos and so on, but even for personal calls it's often better to pay the extra for a proper carrier, just to save the wasted time from h

    • Again people dont confuss VOIP with being over the internet all the time, it is simply "Voice over IP", IP does not equal Internet.
      Most the time people assume they are talking about some shitty software and mic hooked to thier computer. Others might only think of VOIP as being in the last mile, liek a new VOIP PBX they just installed at work that lets them do some really cool shit.
      VOIP can be all that and allot more, but what this is talking about it telco's racing to replace all their internal voice equipm
  • My Series 60 phone gives 3rd-party apps access to the mic, speaker and GPRS data connection. VoIP will take off when someone produces an app for the S60 and other popular "smart" phones that allows VoIP calls to be made as easily as a normal voice call, but cheaper.

    Of course, since I have A$30 a month free on voice calls, but data costs A$.0055/k, that's going to be tricky. Also, there's nothing to stop mobile providers blocking the service. I can't connect to ICQ using Agile Messenger, nor can people su

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday January 01, 2004 @10:30PM (#7856980) Homepage
    If everyone had static IP addresses, deploying voice over IP would be straightforward. You'd buy a box, plug it in, and start telling people your number. No "service", other than a network connection, required. There would be directories, and DNS, but they'd be optional.

    NAT prevents this straightforward implementation, which must make telcos very happy.


  • Tech predictions for 2004 [cnn.com]

    It includes VOIP as well...

  • Over the next year we are going to all VoIP for all users that are not in our call center. We currently have about 75 phones in use. Pretty cool getting your Voice mail as a wav file in your email.
  • The future of voip (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aens ( 737179 ) on Friday January 02, 2004 @12:05AM (#7857664) Journal
    As someone who works in this industry, I thought I'd share some of the future of telecomm for those who aren't 'in the know'. All communication lines going to any endpoint (home, business, sensors, etc) are quickly moving to an IP based data network. Unfortunately, there are two problems that governments and current telephone companies face:
    1) Roughly 50% of their voice revenue stream comes from per minute connection charges, other carrier access charges, & regulation charges (govn't). These will evaporate when subscribers move to data driven VoIP (ie: you pay a flat fee for DSL or cable modem bandwidth now, and it can run all your voice calls to anywhere in the world). Eventually the PSTN connection part will no longer be necessary, so Vonage will disappear as we know it today, but it has finally woken up the telcos to what the future will bring.
    2) Pretty much the other half of their revenue stream comes from the 'premium' voice feature services (call waiting, text messaging, etc), all of which are quickly moving from the class 5 switch into the phones themselves (aka: free).

    What do you do when your primary revenue stream evaporates? Fight it in the courts or with govn't officials. Remember, govn'ts have been taking a nice chunk of that revenue for themselves as well.

    We will have to move to a bandwidth & quality of service (QoS) based payment style. A minimum bandwidth is given for a flat rate (which will include -all- voice), and extra bandwidth will be provided on demand at an agreed QoS. The higher the bandwidth & QoS, the higher the fee.

    Things to watch out for: VoIP everywhere, SIP phones/services, VoWLAN, current voice carriers moving their infrastructure to their IP networks, and govn't regulations dictating that comm lines (called data services & unregulated) become regulated for QoS.

    The companies that move to this model last will not survive. They aren't going to like this. :-)
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday January 02, 2004 @01:34AM (#7858179) Homepage Journal
    VoIP is different from WWW, P2P, and the other Internet services you mentioned: when it replaces a landline, it is an *essential service*. However, as it is delivered in a much more open, competitive environment from POTS of the Bell era, it is also different from the tarrifed landline service. Some of the regulations that protected the "natural monopoly" of landline corporations, like the Bells, and protected us from them, don't apply. But some do. We will need a good public discussion of what minimum regulations are necessary, to protect consumers' privacy, freedom of choice, and quality of the essential service. We also need consensus on how to protect entrepreneurs from the crushing competition of the incumbent carriers, including cable and other WAN service providers. Especially in the absence of anyone resembling a visionary in Washington, we at the bleeding edge of VoIP experimentation must formulate policies that protect our communities as we switch to this powerful 3rd Millennium platform. Or some clown politician in some corporation's pocket will ruin it all for us, once the money becomes irresistable.
  • Now that the national do-not-call registry is in place, telephone slammers everywhere are looking for a new outlet. Well, you can bet that they are going to start looking at VoIP telephones as prime candidates for telemarketing; and to make this happen they will be establishing strong business alliances with VoIP providers.

    This will cash-infuse VoIP businesses like Vonage, which will help them beat the POTS soundly on dollar value. All of this is going to get further momentum as companies like AT&T sta

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