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Re: Article - "skype killer" carrier grade app filter
Fred Heutte wrote:
The cover story of the Economist this week (with a typical dollop
The entire VoIP hype is based on gross misunderstanding by various "analysts", clueless marketing people and some political agendas. Fist of all a clear distinction between "VoIP the technology" and "VoIP the service business case". Unfortunately these are more often than not intermixed. "VoIP the technology" is nothing spectacular. It just replaces a wire with analog voltages with voice samples in packets. Instead of a wire and a TDM switch you've got a wire and a packet switch (or router if you prefer). "VoIP the business case" is something entirely different. Of course it does leverage the "VoIP the technology" together with an existing network, the Internet, to transport voice. Now it gets interesting. When done as intended by god VoIP is a pure P2P concept. Both parties are connected to the Internet through their ISP and exchange voice packets directly without anyone in the loop. This is how Skype-basic works. Obviously there is not much money to be made other than selling the Internet access. The only requirement above an Internet connection is the VoIP directory service to find out where to connect for the remote party. This directory will eventually be something like ENUM leveraging the existing DNS infrastructure. Not much money to be made here. Then where does the money come from for "VoIP the business case"? Very simple actually. From connecting someone using VoIP over the Internet to the PSTN. In "VoIP the business" case you only get charged for calls going to the PSTN. If one day a critical mass of users has VoIP as their phone connection, the volume of calls to the PSTN will sharply decline and "VoIP the business" case will vaporize. So "VoIP the business case" is only a transition phase substituting an overcharged PSTN business case. Other than special taxes and universal service funds there is nothing preventing the PSTN to provide other PSTN destination calls for the same tariff as "VoIP the business case". The PSTN telco's already have the switches and one day they find out that they get more return on their investments if they lower the price of calls, rather than having more and more people substitute their switches for the Internet. However despite all this "VoIP the business case" or "VoIP not really a sustainable business case" there is one certainty. Everyone who wishes to make a phone call, either on the PSTN or Internet, has to have a connection. With the current trend towards "VoIP the technology" it spells bad news for those providing PSTN lines and good news for those providing Internet lines (firstlast mile, not transit ISP's). It's up the reader to figure out who provides a suitable firstlast mile. So there is not much point in preparing the coffin for the Bells. Eventually they will adapt and survive, kicking and screaming. -- Andre Oppermann You are free to distribute this text provided you attribute me as the author and source.