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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guest post on Visionmobile about Future of Voice

I've written for many years about the future of VoIP and personal communications. Recently, I've been mentioning terms such as "non-telephony voice" and the need for service providers to understand that the historic concept of the "phone call" is only one way of interacting with another person using speech.

Last week's profit warning from Dutch operator KPN highlights the fragility of "old" telecoms communications services such as telephony and SMS, as newer applications better-customised to the idiosyncracies of human behaviour start to emerge. An open question is how well platforms such as IMS can cope with new modes of communication - especially those that aren't based on "sessions", but more fluid forms of interaction.

This is a broad theme I'm going to be addressing in some depth over coming months, through a variety of publications and events.

EDIT: If you are interested in learning more about the Future of Voice, I will be running a series of small-group Masterclasses together with Martin Geddes, as well as providing private internal workshops. Email me at information AT disruptive-analysis DOT com for more details

For now, however, please check out the guest post I've written for fellow analyst Andreas Constantinou's blog, VisionMobile on the Future of Voice, and the challenges being posed for "your grandmother's telephony service".


John said...

Always this session obsession!

A session in traditional telephony is just a technical convenience. It could just as easily be applied to the individual constituents of your new wunder-voice future, for example, an individual IM is a "session." A feature request is a "session" A status update, a tweet, a push to talk message, and so on...

The underlying technical implementation of communications (based on SIP perhaps - ooh sessions!) has little or no bearing on how a customer is charged or how a service functions at a higher level. I bet that IMS can cope with any "more fluid form of interaction" that you care to imagine, the fact that it breaks individual components of communication down into sessions is a complete irrelevance.

Dean Bubley said...


Yes, you can encapsulate any form of communication inside any other, if you're prepared to bear the signalling overhead, inefficiency, latency, security needs, back-end processing and so on.

You could probably do everything with Morse Code as well, if you really wanted to.

But for all practical purposes, SIP seems incapable of being sufficiently flexible for modern communications needs.

How many things such as "Like", "Vote Up /Down", "Comment on" etc have been actually implemented in a SIP context? How many M2M devices use SIP implementations?

And how does IMS deal with communications involving someone who is not a subscriber, but is an ad-hoc or anonymous user?