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Daniel Taylor

Martin,

Thanks for this fine series on wireless VoIP. You've done an excellent job of presenting the alternatives for VoIP from a carrier network perspective.

And as an engineer, I appreciate the elegance of a P2P solution like Skype. It's essentially a walkie-talkie that works on any network type.

From the enterprise perspective, SIP and IMS retain their appeal long after the IT departments have shut down Skype. The reason for this is twofold.

First, there is the issue of client software. In large IT environments, the overhead of installing the Skype client on thousands of devices adds significant management cost. Even though Skype has done an excellent job of making their client easy to download and install, it's still a concern, especially given the frequent updates Skype makes to the client.

Secondly, the Skype user license gives Skype the authority to update the software at any point in time and to run executable files on user devices. IT management likes the stability that comes from predictable product lifecycles and the ability to test new software before it goes into production. From an IT perspective, the Skype client is a sanctioned virus with an unknown product lifecycle.

Keep in mind that these same IT managers readily admit that Microsoft Outlook is the most dangerous virus in their network.

There are constraints other than technology. I don't mean to imply that enterprise requirements will dominate carrier-network architectures. Instead, the object example here is that there are constraints that determine which technologies get deployed and in what ways.

For example, in the carrier network, we've been talking about "converged billing" for over a decade. It still hasn't happened, even though everyone agrees that it's "the best way." The conclusion to which I've arrived is that there must be another set of constraints dictating the way billing platforms are deployed within carrier environments.

So if Skype succeeds or fails, it won't be because it's the best technology or the right architecture. Chances are that we'll get a sub-optimal technology for an altogether different set of reasons...over which we'll have little control.

Cara Fletcher

Thanks very much for this article.I found a lot of useful information about the VOIP system and what it's all about it because I wasn't very accustomed with it.

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