R.I.P., 'V.O.I.P.' Long live packet-based telephony.

R.I.P., 'V.O.I.P.' Long live packet-based telephony.

Summary: Not much more than a decade ago, the idea that a packet-routing company could compete effectively in the circuit-switched world of telecommunications was oft the font of laughter. For the telecom giants.

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TOPICS: Networking, Cisco, Telcos
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Not much more than a decade ago, the idea that a packet-routing company could compete effectively in the circuit-switched world of telecommunications was oft the font of laughter. For the telecom giants.

Lucent, spun out from AT&T, and what once was known as Northern Telecom could and would crush the Internet doyenne, Cisco Systems. Because what mattered to large corporate clients was the kind of ultrareliability that only experienced telecom carriers could deliver.

Motorola was part of the pack, because it had a special skill in supplying gear for wireless telecom networks.

Well, now, the game is pretty much over. Cisco has utterly routed its rivals. As has packet-switching, where lots of calls can share a given slice of bandwidth, over circuit-switching, where only one call could occupy a given slice of bandwidth.

Northern Telecom, now called Nortel Networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, at long last. Alcatel Lucent is seeking some kind of leadership. Motorola brought in a computer guy (Ed Zander) and still managed to wind up in a tailspin.

cisco

The chart for just the last five years tells the tale: Cisco, if it so chose, could easily buy all three of the the would-be big guns. But it would face Justice Department challenges, almost certainly. More succinctly, though, why bother? Just let them all self-destruct. You’ll own the vast majority of the telecom world, anyway, without the baggage.

Going forward, the dominant way to deliver voice calls really will be packet-switching. Meaning: More and more Cisco gear will get sold. Even in handsets, if your phone can’t run user-installed software, pretty soon it won’t be bought. From telecom to TV, digits have won.

So why don’t we just get on with it and mothball the term “Voice Over Internet Protocol” telephony altogether?

Let an anachronistic and awkward acronym rest in peace. Call it packet-based telephony, if you must.

But, in any case, let Nortel and Alcatel Lucent come up with a term for what they try to supply, instead.

Topics: Networking, Cisco, Telcos

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5 comments
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  • I got one word for you....

    Vyatta
    JoeMama_z
    • Another word: FreeSWITCH

      VoIP er packet-switched telephony will be
      turned on its head by projects like this. Throw
      in Vyatta and you've got some serious OSS
      muscle out there.
      -MC
      Mercutio_Viz
  • ???

    cisco has all that market cap because they are really the
    dominant... almost the only player in the access and there
    is a huge amount of money in access just because of the
    volume... not because they dominate in the core or edge.
    Cisco is not the only company with IP expertise but they
    have great mindshare (look at this article as an example
    of this).. and in terms of edge routers especially, they
    actually have a pretty pathetic offering. every company on
    your list has IP QoS solutions.. that are in the core and
    edge of the biggest providers in the world.. i'm not sure
    you're really understanding the landscape in carrier
    land.. it's not the same deal as in access.
    doctorSpoc
  • RE: R.I.P., 'V.O.I.P.' Long live packet-based telephony.

    Geez, what did Nortel and Alcatel do to you -- shoot your dog and call your sister ugly?
    Vesicant
  • RE: R.I.P., 'V.O.I.P.' Long live packet-based telephony.

    VoIP has become kind of a buzz term even if people don't know about the technology behind it. Check out www.voipservice.com for more on VoIP-ish options.
    Resource Nation