There’s been a lot of talk lately about mobile VoIP. People feel like the mobile operators are about to lose their businesses to all those startups offering free and low cost calling by utilizing the data path of cellular networks. I have provided my views already on why I think these startups are not growing anywhere, and why IMS will wipe them out of the market altogether. Guess what? I’ve been prophetic in this one.
This week, a distinguished group of operators and vendors publicized an initiative called “One Voice” (here’s the PDF spec). These companies are AT&T Inc., Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. And their plan is to come up with a specific technical profile for voice and SMS services over LTE based on IMS.
Simply put, there is now serious work being done to take IMS into the next level and make sure that once LTE networks are deployed (=all IP cellular networks), their voice and SMS services will be provided robustly by the mobile operators.
What does this mean to all the downloadable VoIP clients out there? A death blow. Instead of utilizing LTE’s higher bandwidths and lower latencies for their own service, they will see the operators provide robust alternatives that don’t suffer from the same drawbacks that they do (being a downloadable application).
What does it mean to our industry? That IMS is taking center stage on LTE networks.
There are others who have written their opinion on One Voice over the past several days. Here are some of the best writings on this topic:
- Martin Sauter provides his insights on One Voice from a political and a technical viewpoints.
- Caroline Gabriel covers the dynamics that brought about the One Voice initiative.
- Stacey Higginbotham points at the missing players in One Voice.
- UPDATE: My other post on the subject at NoJitter.