Kevin Werbach nailed it today:
“There’s a there there
‘ENUM and SIP. Two acronyms that mean nothing unless you’re a Net-savvy telecom geek (like yours truly). Word to the wise: pay attention. These are the bridges between the the world of telephony and the world of the Internet. People like Jeff Pulver and James Seng are recognizing that something significant is afoot in the arcane world of network addressing and signaling.’
‘Voice over IP has been around commercially for at least eight years, but it’s now reaching a critical stage of maturity. One side is consumer adoption of services like Vonage and Skype, but that’s just surface activity. Deep integration on the back end is a more profound shift. It’s the difference between making a phone call over the Internet, and voice as an internetworking application. Or to put it another way, the different between the Internet as a subset of telecommunications, and telecommunications as a subset of the Internet.‘
The key here is that telecoms is going to be nothing more than software running over IP networks, including the Internet. The software will offer many things for free [peer to peer calls for example] and many paid-for services [multi-party conferencing for example]. The difference between free and paid for will be market driven but today is related to architecture and costs. If there is a server, and transport involved, then there are costs and so charges. If there is no server or transport, as with P2P, service will be free. Clearly, in this world, there is no place for businesses that make cash by charging for person to person calls.
Rich Media – video and data sharing – will be optional features of this IP based communcations platform.
It really happening. As Kevin says – there is a there there.