VOIP: An Up and Coming Old Technology

Charlene OHanlon
Voice over IP (VoIP), once touted as the next big thing in communications technology, has surely yet quietly come into its own in the business market. The promise of lower communications costs coupled with PSTN-like sound quality have made VoIP a dependable technology, yet one that has advanced with little fanfare. That, however, may be changing, as recent moves in the industry point to VoIP as a technology to watch in 2010.

All of which means that chief technologists are going to have to brush up on their VoIP skills as the organizations they work for continue to adopt applications and services that are all VoIP-enabled.

In the meantime, recent examples of VoIP-driven vendor initiatives abound. Genband, for one, recently announced its bid to purchase the assets of Nortel's Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions Business (CVAS) globally. The combination of the two would combine Genband's access, trunking, session and security gateway technology with Nortel's softswitch and application technology, making for a pretty comprehensive product and services offering. In the European market, Telefonica reportedly purchased JAJAH, and Netherlands-basedKPN has purchased long distance and VoIP wholesale provider iBasis. The Burlington, Mass.-based company will remain a separate subsidiary of KPN, and will continue to serve an international market.

Coupled with the M&A action is new, upgraded technology, further proof of VoIP's movement. IP communications provider 8x8 recently upgraded its VoIP network to offer high-definition VoIP for business users, which provides better sound quality and a richer calling experience. SRS Labs, meanwhile, introduced SRS Premium Voice, which will come as a pretuned, preinstalled feature on various PCs. According to SRS, Premium Voice purports to sharpen the spoken voice; enhance the volume gain overall; and improve the intelligibility of in-bound callers-nice features to have during a multi-party VoIP conference call.

Finally, AT&T has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow it to move forward with a purely IP-based network and requested that a date be set to end support for landline-or PSTN-service. 'It makes no sense to require service providers to operate and maintain two distinct networks when technology and consumer preferences have made one of them increasingly obsolete,' AT&T wrote to the FCC.

Such rhetoric from a communications stalwart is a sure signal that the times are changing, and IP communications is quickly becoming the norm for business users. CTOs who haven't yet considered VoIP would do well to research what the technology can do for their company in terms of cost, infrastructure and sound quality.

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Jun 2, 2011 5:06 PM JohnPeters JohnPeters  says:
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