Backgrounder: There is a lot of debate about the two most popular types of VoIP; SIP and H.323, each of them has its own merits. Initially H.323 was the most popular protocol, though its popularity has decreased in the "local loop" due to its poor traversal of NAT and firewalls. For this reason as domestic VoIP services have been developed, SIP has been far more widely adopted.  more...

Telephony's Next Act

Apr 17, 2006

There are about 1 billion fixed telephone lines and 2 billion cellphones in the world. Most calls still travel across traditional systems based on proprietary software and hardware. Soon, though, they will move to networks based on open protocols... The same thing is happening all around the world -- in some cases very quickly. Last winter, the chief technology officer at BT Group PLC, in London, said that during the next three to five years, BT would like to "turn off the public switched telephone network." If that happened all over the world overnight, and all those phones connected to the Internet instead, it would double or triple the number of objects joined by that network of networks, wreaking havoc on some parts of it. Done right, though, over the next several years, the move will open doors to new telephone services that will make all our lives easier and better. ›››

By Paul Mockapetris Posted 1:40 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 1693

ENUM: Mapping the E.164 Number Space into the DNS

Mar 30, 2006

Many communications networks are constructed for a single form of communication, and are ill suited to being used for any other form. Although the Internet is also a specialized network in terms of supporting digital communications, its relatively unique flexibility lies in its ability to digitally encode a very diverse set of communications formats, and then support their interaction over the Internet. In this way many communications networks can be mapped into an Internet application and in so doing become just another distributed application overlayed on the Internet. From this admittedly Internet-centric perspective, voice is just another Internet application. And for the growing population of Voice over IP (VoIP) users, this is indeed the case... ›››

By Geoff Huston Posted 7:55 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 2640

What If They Simply Made Communications Technology Better?

Mar 20, 2006

Rob Hyndman has a pointer to Mark Cuban's latest: ›››

By Alec Saunders Posted 2:56 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 892

Spring VON Final Thoughts

Mar 20, 2006

I promised to finish up my VON posting after getting back, and wanted to comment briefly on two keynotes I particularly enjoyed. First was Tim O'Reilly, who is Jeff Pulver's counterpart in the Web 2.0 space. Jeff and Tim's worlds are increasingly sharing a common orbit, and I hope we'll see more cross-pollination here in future shows. Actually, Tim's presence struck me as the only really fresh wrinkle in the VON format, and I suspect -- and hope -- to see more content moving beyond voice to encompass things like Web 2.0 and video. Tim message about tech innovation had parallels to Jeff's keynote... ›››

By Jon Arnold Posted 1:14 PM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 886

Give Us TVoIP, Not IPTV

Mar 16, 2006

A buzzword in the cable/ilec world is IPTV, a plan to deliver TV over IP. Microsoft and several other companies have built IPTV offerings, to give phone and cable companies what they like to call a "triple play" (voice, video and data) and be the one-stop communications company. ...I'm at the Von conference where people are pushing this, notably the BellSouth exec who just spoke. But they've got it wrong. We don't need IPTV. We want TVoIP or perhaps more accurately Vid-o-IP. ›››

By Brad Templeton Posted 10:53 AM PDT / Comments: 0 / Views: 900


Examining the Reality of Convergence

by Geoff Huston | posted Feb 21, 2006 at 6:30 pm PDT

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If there is one word in the telecommunications that has suffered from over-abuse for many years now, it's convergence. The term has been liberally applied to each successive generation of communications technology for their supposed ability to solve a myriad of service delivery problems within a single unifying converged carriage and service delivery solution. Unfortunately, the underlying reality has always been markedly different from these wondrous promises, and we continue to see an industry that deploys a plethora of service delivery platforms and an equally diverse collection of associated switching and service delivery technologies. One can't help but wonder at the collective gullibility of an industry that continues to herald the convergent attributes of each new generation of communications technology, while at the same time being forced to admit that previous convergent promises have never been realized. ›››

Mobility News and Skype Blocking

by Irwin Lazar | posted Feb 10, 2006 at 2:45 pm PDT

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Three big announcements out of the 3GSM World Congress currently taking place in Barcelona. Microsoft announced the upcoming availability of its Office Communicator Mobile Client for Windows Mobile. This will allow users to have access to Live Communications Server-based IM and presence management over cellular networks, and will also function as a VoIP soft-phone over WiFi networks. Skype made two announcements... ›››