The PhoneBoy Blog


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VoIP: OUT for 2009

I guess it’s my turn to get on the bandwagon about whether or not VoIP is dead. It is, and we should get over it already.

I agree with Jeff Pulver, Andy Abramson, and Jon Arnold that there is innovation going on in VoIP. No question about it. However, those innovations are services. Companies like Fonolo, Jajah, Mobivox, iotum (makers of Calliflower), and others are using technology that has existed for years in new and exciting ways. They don’t make voice, say, travel faster or take up less space on the wire. They might change how voice can be used or provide a previously existing service in a new an unique way, but it’s not a fundamental shift in how voice is transmitted.

Ok, there might be some innovations going on with the raw voice transmission as well, but these changes are likely to be incremental at best. The fundamentals have existed for over a decade and I don’t see any major changes on the horizon. It’s plubming, as Ken Camp has said many times.

Normal people don’t care abut VoIP. They just care if it works. Let’s take an example of using Comcast phone service instead of CenturyTel for landline phone service. The main issue for my wife is not that it’s VoIP, but that it doesn’t work exactly the same way as a regular landline. The fact that it is VoIP is almost irrelevant. It boils down to two problems: availability (Comcast goes down more), and emergency services (911 doesn’t exactly work the same way).

It’s not VoIP, it’s the services it provides.

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