Wireline and wireless carriers are in the midst of a transition that is at least as profound as effects combining the retirement of cord-board operators, the adoption of SS7, and the telecom transition from analog to digital.
While the implications are large for the internal telco infrastructure, they are even bigger for businesses that will see the TDM / SS7 network unplugged within seven years. The FCC has assured consumers that most voice equipment will be interoperable as TDM switches are retired, but businesses that haven’t already made the transition to VoIP and other IP communications platforms will eventually need to do so.
Much of the business case for installing VoIP as a core telco service platform is driven by cost reductions in network maintenance, energy, radio spectrum usage (with VoLTE for wireless carriers), and physical central office space. However, telcos are also creating opportunity for a whole new range of services.
As enterprises already understand, VoIP provides a baseline for rapid adoption of other real time communications services such as video integration and other collaboration platforms. Enterprises have also learned that their employees want a choice of communication devices (e.g. smartphones, laptops, and desk phones) along with a choice of platforms (e.g. messaging, voice, and video.)
The IP infrastructure telcos are building today will further their ability to offer cloud-based interpersonal collaboration and information services on a virtual network in the near future. We look forward to seeing how quickly these services will evolve with the development resources that carrier bring to the table.
On a personal note, this blog will be our last published in Network World, and we would like to thank the editors and support staff for their help and consideration over the past 15 years. Most of all, we thank our subscribers for their loyal years of reading and comments. For those who want to keep up in the future, you can follow me on twitter @LarryHettick or by email directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.