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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notes from VON Boston

I'll be adding more posts to this over the next few days, but just to kick off with a couple of observations:

- PCs are the new mobile phones, at least from a VoIP, IMS & unified comms perspective. Huge amount of interest in porting softphones & other clients to laptops, for both FMC operators and various previously-mobile-only Internet players. This fits in with my own belief that early VoIPo3G rollouts are being catalysed by PCs with flatrate data plans.

- Everyone and his dog has some sort of social-networking application / plug-in / enhancement to their products. Think FaceBook-to-mobile apps, uploads of pictures or speech or video from handsets and assorted other permutations.

- IMS handsets (or even standardised IMS clients) are still very thin on the ground. Quite a few people are talking about "IMS proxies" in the network, which ordinary handsets can communicate with. That means not terminating the IMS session on the device itself, but on a server and then essentially using a 'thin client' or browser on the phone to display the results.

- Quite impressed with some of the work that Ericsson's doing to encourage developers to create apps on IMS platforms. Definitely some of the right thinking - I heard the phrase "two men & a dog in a garage" which is a bit of a paradigm shift coming from the telecoms establishment. I do have a slight worry that any startup wanting to get exposure to the global audience via carriers ends up being 2 men + dog + 30-person legal team. Although that said there are supposedly some options for easier routes to market via catalogues and quick 'vetting' of new services without detailed contracts.

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