Fantastic post over at Telco 2.0 today. Talking about simplifying the architecture behind IMS and other QoS-managed networks, by virtue of simply charging different "entry fees" at the edge of the network.
It always amazes me that a lot of people in the telecom industry completely fail to understand how yield management works in the airline industry "Oh, our network will enable you to give first-class service to out premium customers, and business-class for realtime traffic like voice". That misses out on the clever part - the fare code system. Making different amounts of money from exactly the same product. If I'm in economy with a V-class ticket, and you're sitting next to me with a Y-class, you will have paid a different amount, but you'll still get the same meal and legroom. (OK with some tickets you get a bit more flexibility re: cancellation & changes). It's partly to do with capacity - selling the cheapest seats first - but also to do with distribution (ie which travel agent). Budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet can be even cleverer about all of this, too, dynamically changing their pricing at a whim, and upselling with new "products" like early boarding.
I'm doing some research on wireless VoIP at the moment, and it still amazes me how primitive much of the rhetoric around QoS is. "Oh, it's voice, so it absolutely must have priority". Nonsense - you should be differentiating voice traffic based on context: your users do. I'll use SkypeOut for a briefing call with a company in the US that wants to pitch its strategy to me, but I'll use my landline if it's a client who's actually paying me money.