VoIP

VoIP / Most Commented

Examining Two Well-Known Attacks on VoIP

VoIP is here to stay. In fact many incumbent telecommunication carriers have started offering VoIP service for sometime and several new VoIP service providers have emerged. Aside from issues such as quality of service, the aspect of security, or lack thereof, is misunderstood by some of the VoIP service providers. This purpose of this article is to discuss two of the most well known attacks that can be carried out in current VoIP deployments. more

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

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... more

Telecom Impact on Per-Capita GDP

My presentation at VON was focused on availability (aka presence) and contextually-aware communications, but I did begin with a brief mention of subjects I'm passionate about and I ended with my typical closing comments about telecommunications... Apparently this struck a chord with several people who came up to me afterwards asking about how they could help the spread of telecom to developing countries and did I have references for my statements about telecom is good for mankind? more

Freedom to Connect

Over the last ten years, Andrew Odlyzko has been writing about a pricing algorithm that would assure reasonable service levels at reasonable prices. If you're going to F2C, you might want to read that brief article or this slightly more complex one to learn (or refresh your sense of) PMP -- Paris Metro Pricing models to deal with network congestion. You'll also get a sense of why throwing bandwidth at the network will not be sufficient. Here's a great article from 1995... more

What If They Simply Made Communications Technology Better?

Rob Hyndman has a pointer to Mark Cuban's latest: Think the Internet Will Replace TV? Think Again. Cuban's post can be summarized as: Today's broadband networks are too slow. The insatiable appetite for on-demand rich media content will soon overwhelm them. Telco's aren't putting in upgraded networks quickly enough to meet that demand. Cuban also provides some facts and figures to back up that claim. In the comments, readers have a number of viewpoints, including the view that Mark has ignored cable, and that cable can provide the required speeds and feeds... more

Skype: When Good Press Releases Go Bad

Burton Group issued a press release last week announcing the conclusions of my recent report on Skype. I thought the release clearly stated our conclusions on Skype, which essentially were that there are indeed security and management concerns that enterprises ought to be aware of, but that those risks may be outweighed by the business benefits offered by the use of the application, and that enterprises must carefully weigh risk vs. reward when evaluating Skype usage. more

Give Us TVoIP, Not IPTV

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 pulver.com 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. more

Communications Policy for 2006 and Beyond: VoIP as a Case in Point

In this article, published in the Federal Communications Law Journal (FCLJ), the authors (Reed E. Hundt and Gregory L. Rosston) have proposed sweeping changes to the current telecommunications regulatory regime. With impending reform in telecommunications laws, the authors argue that an important first step is the creation of a bipartisan, independent commission to examine and recommend implementation of more market-oriented communications policy. The following excerpt from the article looks into service competition with respect to VoIP... more

VoIP Prompts Carrier Backlash

Carriers plan to challenge VoIP 'poachers' with services to win back defecting small businesses and test the market's economics. Signals that their grip on the Net neutrality high ground could be slipping are prompting major telecommunications carriers to put Plan B in motion -- an all-out price and feature war to test the staying power and limitations of Internet voice upstarts, analysts say. more

Today's Carrier Networks as Trollways?

As I keep pointing out -- there is indeed a viable alternative of a real marketplace not a fake one. Today's system is a fake because it depends on capturing the value of the application - communications - in the transport and that is no longer possible because with the Internet the value is created OUTSIDE the network. One example of the collateral damage caused by today's approach is the utter lack of simple wireless connectivity. Another is that we have redundant capital intensive bit paths whose only purpose is to contain bits within billing paths. more

Is Comcast Impairing Vonage?

On the one hand, the big telcos are chanting the mantram, "We shall not block, impair or degrade any content, service or application." On the other hand, they're saying, "There's no problem. We don't need a law until there's a problem." Well, now. Mitch Shapiro over at IP & Democracy, points to Russell Shaw's post that says: "I have been noticing a growing number of posts in which many Vonage users and Vonage Forum Members have been complaining about the quality of Vonage calls over Comcast broadband connections..." more

Examining the Reality of Convergence

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. more

SIP Emerges as De Facto VoIP Standard

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is emerging as the de facto corporate standard for VoIP networks running converged voice/data communications, industry experts reported today.

Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan said that SIP is anticipated to "replace the traditional modes of communication, and create an alternative communication industry reducing network elements to mere call-forwarding devices". more

VoIP Security FUD

I'm continually amazed by the amount of FUD being spread with regard to VoIP security threats. People...the sky is not falling. VoIP isn't e-mail. It isn't implemented like e-mail, it won't be implemented like e-mail (maybe "it shouldn't be implemented like e-mail" is a more appropriate statement). Following best security practices will ensure at least a level of security equivalent to current TDM systems. Best FUD I've heard this week: VoIP is insecure because you can simply put a bridge on an ethernet line and capture a stream. Hey, has anyone ever heard of alligator clips? more

VoIP's Threadbare New Clothes

Om has burnt the midnight oil analyzing Vonage's S-1 filing, coming to the conclusion that, while churn may not be as ugly as people thought, it's still cause for concern, and apparently intensifying. His point at the end about definitions is particularly good, as excluding cancellations in the first 30-days is undoubtedly flattering to the numbers. The net present value of Vonage's lifetime customer revenues is an issue which VoIP-watchers have long speculated about with trepidation -- what if marketing spending, churn, and price competition combined to form a toxic soup which fatally poisoned the economic proposition for access-independent VoIP? more