Voice Over Internet ProtocolVoip Essay Research Paper — страница 2
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control the future of VoIP. Companies ranging from the traditional common carriers to the newer next generation telcos are all scrapping for a share of this lucrative market. The VoIP portion of this emerging market is expected to grow at a rate of 149 percent annually through 2001 to about $1.89 billion dollars with high estimates of $9.4 billion by 2002. With this much money and revenue at stake, local and state governments, which derive millions of dollars from taxing voice carriers, are also taking notice of this emerging, unregulated threat. Another issue of this technology is the fact that there has yet to be a standardized set of protocols for the manufacturers and vendors. This is leading to proprietary hardware and software, which all leads to incompatibility and increased expense. As with all technologies and advances, the bottom line is the dollar. These are just a few of the many issues facing global adoption of VoIP. THE PLAYERS INVOLVED To follow this technology and understand its implications, one should be aware of the players involved in the game and know each ones motivation. The Big Three. The Big Three players are AT&T, MCI WorldCom, and Sprint. They perhaps have the most to lose and the trickiest balancing act to perform. They must take special precautions to ensure they do not cannibalize their very lucrative PSTN. The traditional phone system is over an $100 billion a year business. In terms of market share, VoIP is barely a blip on the Big Three’s radar screens. However, these big carriers have not let this technology go unnoticed. AT&T offers a calling card that allows its user VoIP for as low as 3.5 cents a minute. AT&T has recognized this new threat and is aggressively doing something about it. They have hired new talent and leadership; acquired a new facilities-based business company in TCG; bought a facilities-based consumer company in Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI); began a global venture with BT; bought the IBM global services network for IP; and expanded its wireless reach with Vanguard Cellular. Also in February of this year AT&T announced a joint venture with Time Warner Inc. that allows it to enter the local-service market via cable in 33 states. AT&T is also experiencing a metamorphosis of its corporate culture which is allowing more free flow thinking from all employees. MCI WorldCom sells a click and talk Web-based voice service for enterprises with e-commerce sites which allows customer service reps to talk to buyers over the IP connection while shopping online. MCI WorldCom has also been on the mergers and acquisitions path in order to meet this new challenge. The Big Three have aggressively been working on this new market and the outcome has yet to be seen. With lower barriers to entry than in the traditional communications networks, they face many new entrants in this battle. Regional Bell Companies (RBOC’s): The regional Bell Companies have a vested interest in this area as the Internet replaces the private networks in which they have such heavy investments. It takes nearly 8 years for PSTN capacity to double. The Internet doubles capacity every 18 months. This is strong motivation for the regional Bells to preserve their investments. The smart regional Bell companies are already putting new strategies in place. US West is relying on its nationwide XDSL rollout. This program will combine US West’s voice and data customers by replacing a $30 dollar a month voice customer with a $60 dollar a month high speed Internet and voice customer. It treats voice as an Internet service. Bell Atlantic is also working on its’ plans. It is looking to provide services similar to that of US West. These regional carriers are however limited to their own calling territories as per FCC regulations until they can show that they have local competitors. Many cable companies are following this approach. To protect revenues, US West, Bell Atlantic, and Southwestern Bell have provided for tariffing and will tax a VoIP call. Next Generation Telco’s: Service providers are also positioning themselves as next-gen telcos by adding to their Internet service offerings. Qwest is planning and implementing a high capacity, IP based fiber optic network. Its mission is to allow customers to seamlessly exchange multimedia content images, data, and voice as easily as traditional telephone networks enable voice communications. Qwest’s OC-48, IP over Sonet backbone, spanning 130 countries, is nearly complete. The Denver based company will offer an IP based integration service for business. It will be capable of taking out multiple private lines and do multiple applications over a single IP service pipe.