VoIP Phone Home?

The movie Extra Terrestrial (ET) coined the phrase "phone home" and each year American's look for more cost effective ways to do just that. The past 10 years have seen the development and growing popularity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies to achieve cost savings over the traditional circuit-switched telephone networks. The two dominate technologies used for VoIP are: (1) the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and (2) Peer-2-Peer (P2P). For business and educational institutions SIP VoIP solutions have produced substantial savings. For home voice users, however, SIP VoIP is still value challenged.

A typical circuit-switched landline phone costs about $19.95 per month (plus tax). The good old American landline phone should be graphically depicted beside the word "reliable" in the dictionary. Not only does it keep working, even when all electrical power fails, but it can even provide you with a light to dial with. At $15 dollars per month SIP VoIP is still value challenged due to the lack of full support for E9-1-1 emergency services and of course the reliability issues inherent with using a real time application over a "best effort" network like today's Internet. Although few VoIP articles still reference Internet Request For Comments (RFC) 3714 "IAB Concerns Regarding Congestion Control," the technical challenges associated with VoIP are widely known. Further, even with the recent dubious edict by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that VoIP service providers will provision support for E9-1-1 within 90 days, this still leaves the reliability issues unresolved. The use of adaptive rate CODEC's to prevent congestion collapse is a swell idea if it applies to my neighbor's service but not my own. Using adaptive rate CODEC's to elicit voluntary user preemption has no appeal in the modern world. Technology is supposed to be getting better and it is clearly not better that users receive disconnects or degraded service quality in order to constrain network bandwidth consumption.

Quality of Service (QoS) has been the four letter word of the Internet for a very long time. Yet, we know that real time applications such as video and voice are a mismatch for "best effort" service models. Cost savings are important, but not if they require users to accept backward technology leaps. After 9/11 the United States should have begun standardization efforts to insure that VoIP QoS levels would be equivalent to circuit-switched networks, especially where emergency E9-1-1 calls are concerned. The recent FCC order only requires that E9-1-1 call center traffic be properly routed. It does nothing to insure QoS of the connection once the call is completed.

As for SIP VoIP in the home, there is too little incentive for savvy consumers to part with more of their hard earned communications dollars for an industry offering that simply does not meet the needs of the user. Until something concrete can be done to move SIP VoIP forward, service based on P2P such as Skype seems to be the only sensible choice on the kitchen table. Why should home users pay $15 or more per month for less reliable communications than they already have with their land line? Skype gives users the ability to experience "best effort" voice over the Internet for FREE. Could this be the reason why more than 125 million copies of Skype's P2P software has been downloaded? And for the occasions where interconnection with the existing circuit-switched telephone networks is required, Skype offers a very competitive 2 cents per minute interconnection rate. With Skype you can talk for 12 hours interconnected to the phone system for the same cost as a basic rate SIP VoIP service.

Until genuine changes are made to support SIP VoIP QoS there does not appear to be a convincing or compelling reason today for users to choose anything other than P2P VoIP services such as Skype to render Internet "best effort" home phone services.

You can read the complete article and view associated graphics online at: http://canon.org/VoIP_Phone_Home.html.

2005 Peach ePublishing, LLC

Jason Canon has authored numerous technical research papers including: photonic switching, gigabit networking, VoIP E9-1-1 and others. He is an expert author for EzineArticles.com. E-mail: Jason Canon at jmc@canon.org.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


VoIP 101: Voice over IP for Beginners

For those who have never heard about the potential of... Read More

How Much Bandwidth is Required for VoIP Phones?

A long-standing question for potential VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)... Read More

The Single Most Important Thing to Know About Computer Phones (VoIP)

Over 90% of computer phones (VoIP) are not secure because... Read More

Bluetooth Computer Headsets - Enjoy Wireless Freedom

Wireless Computer HeadsetsTill recently, few options were available to people... Read More

Should You ,VoIP?

My friend in Florida, Samuel, called me last week and... Read More

VoIP Overview

Since we're using computers all the time to do our... Read More

Voice Over IP ? Saving Money

I was on a tech support call with a client... Read More

How Voip Can Mask The Size Of Your Business And Save You A Bundle

Have you heard the buzz about VOIP (Voice Over Internt... Read More

VOIP Questions and Answers

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, has grown in popularity... Read More

World On IP Community versus Telecoms Monopoly

World on IP community versus the TELECOMS' monopoly or a... Read More

Get a ?Virtual Phone Number? - Eliminate Long Distance Charges with VoIP Phone Service

There's a revolution brewing in the telephone industry. But it's... Read More

VOIP For Your Business

Many companies are now beginning to look into alternatives to... Read More

How to Never Pay a Hotel Phone Bill Again

The protocol is increasingly being adopted as the standard means... Read More

VoIP Phone Home?

The movie Extra Terrestrial (ET) coined the phrase "phone home"... Read More

Broadband Phone Technology - Top 5 Reasons You Should Take Notice

For the uninitiated, the term broadband phone is loosely used... Read More

Making PC to Phone VoIP Calls over Dial-Up Internet Connections

There's a lot of hype these days surrounding Internet-based voice... Read More

Use your Computer to make Cheap Long-Distance Telephone Calls

What is 'VoIP'?Simply put, VoIP refers to the carriage of... Read More

Voice over IP Offers Your Business an Inexpensive Alternative To Toll Free Numbers

New businesses can now let their customers contact them for... Read More

How to Choose VoIP Service Without Losing Your Shirt

Voip.Just mentioning the word to yourself either brings up images... Read More

The Dangers of Peer-to-Peer Systems

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) systems do not operate on secure lines, thus... Read More

Text To Speech - Its Simple

Looking for a natural voice speech engine? Curious about what... Read More

Voice over IP (VoIP) Features

Because with VOIP you can make calls from anywhere you... Read More

The Lowdown on VoIP

It seems like technology is headed for a massive telephone... Read More

Google Joins the Internet Phone Revolution

Its not so long ago that the idea of free... Read More

Will the Bell System Survive? A Massive Transfer of Wealth from Bell to VoIP is Underway

Will the Bell System Survive? A Massive Transfer of Wealth... Read More

Voip - Voice Over IP and Business: Is It For You?

VoIP allows users to make phone calls using their high-speed... Read More

Instant Menaces or Instant Messengers?

Many vendors offering Instant Messaging (IM) services have added new... Read More

VOIP

This article contains the excellent information about the Voice Over... Read More

Why Over 90% of VoIP Services Are Vulnerable to Attack

John Ashcroft, Attorney General, in remarks at the High Technology... Read More

What Is VoIP and How Does It Work

IntroductionThe way we make phone calls is changing. In fact... Read More

Security, Stability, and Interoperability Issues on VoIP Implementation

Now we have accepted that VoIP is no longer just... Read More

Finally Voip Worth a Look!

Everyone can Benefit from this Technology! Voip will be next... Read More

A Look at Internet Voice Technology (VoIP) for Residential

Today's TechnologyOver the years, the technology has made remarkable progress.... Read More