Feeds

VoIP suffers identity crisis

Enterprise network or PC application?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Quality of Service

Cisco's Rohan May didn't quite jostle Zennstrom at the end of his speech, but you could tell he wanted to and demanded to know when Zennstrom would build a connection to SIP. He said Skype had no Quality of Service and effectively challenged Zennstrom to some kind of demonstration, Skype against SIP.

Privately Zennstrom said: "It isn't when Skype is going to be compatible with SIP, but the other way around. I wrote Skype partly because SIP was such a bad protocol. It can't tunnel through a NAT server, or firewalls."

He wasn't the only one to say this, with most people content to say it in whispers over coffee, that most versions of SIP were incompatible and that it required a re-engineering of enterprise networks to get VoIP calls through reliably.

But if that gives a potted view of the two worlds of VoIP, the personal and the enterprise, there is a third world that is the preserve of telecommunications operators only.

British Telecom coincidentally made the announcement of its future IP architecture on the last day of the conference. BT's network will go IP end-to-end, creating massive savings, and it will also begin trialing fibre to the premises, echoing recent moves made by Telcos in the US.

There will be large scale migration of voice services from 2006, the first stage in the migration pilot will involve the bypass with multi-service access nodes of the core PSTN network link between two major network nodes at Cambridge and Woolwich. An extension is planned later in London.

And if calls are packet switched instead of circuit switched throughout the network, then this will give BT and just about everyone great advantages when it comes to moving VoIP data around the country. And just what will the regulators say about a national telephone network that is really a set of servers and softswitches with IP traffic. It will certainly make for interesting times and enterprise telephony will plug more easily into the future BT network, complete as it will be by 2009, as long as that enterprise traffic is IP ready when it leaves the building.

Remember BT's telephony won't be on the Internet, it will be on a private Internet called British Telecom's network. So is VoIP a PC application as Zennstrom says, or is it a set of enterprise servers and services, as Day believes, or is it simply the telephone network? We're inclined to think it's all three.

© Copyright 2004 Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of events that have happened each week in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Related stories

VoIP to transform telecoms market
Corporate VoIP to challenge Skype
VoIP set to generate megabucks
VoIP will be US broadband killer app
Skype won t make it, says WSJ columnist

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.