Javier Sanz-Blasco, Post, Telco Strategies & Policy

Voice: Still a Traditional Service?

(By Javier Sanz-Blasco)

At the beginning of June I attended VON Europe Spring’07 in Stockholm. 4 days full of social networking, analysis, sharing and discussions regarding where the world is going with regards “voice on the network”… or at least the telecomms world.

Actually, it was not “just voice”… Fixed-Mobile-Convergence, Business Models, Services, Applications, Access, Content, Architectures, Trends, Protocols, Codecs, Disruptive Technologies…
and much more. And, of course, it was also about getting the conference goodie bag that contained the usual useful items such as a (black) t-shirt, a Swedish newspaper, two Telecoms magazines, one pen and a great laser pointer with the logo of the main sponsor.

In my opinion, one of the best speakers was Jan Larsson, Senior Strategy and Corporate Development Manager at TeliaSonera. Jan talked very clearly about two different worlds: The Access Layer and The Applications Layer. He described “voice” as a very mature predicatable application and explained that it would be very difficult for a traditional telco to control both worlds… In a way, he was talking about the competition that the Service Providers have with the Content Providers.

92% of the internet traffic is peer-to-peer???? Web traffic less than 7% of the bandwidth??? Suddenly, what happened to Voice? Wow.. This is a new world… The traditional Service Providers are feeling the heat from the cowboys that give users what they really want. And most of the times for free!! Do you want voice? Skype. Do you want to buy and sell? EBAY. Do you want email, bloggers? Google. Do you want your own IPTV? YouTube…

Facing this panorama, the incumbents will need to renovate themselves or face the inevitable: People want access… and applications. If you dont give them that, we can forget about NGN, forget about IMS, forget about charging, billing and control. Users demand applications… But how easy is to predict the success of an application? Oh dear… The gate is open…

Javier Sanz-Blasco




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