Panel led by Om Malik and includes Jeffrey A. Citron (Vonage), Hossein Eslambolchi (CTO of AT&T), Charlie E. Hoffman (CEO of Covad), and Mike McCue (former Netscape, now at TellMe networks).
VOIP price war (AT&T vs. Vonage).
[Jeffrey] Vonage used to have three plans but customers didn't like that. Locality and distance was irrelevant. So they simplified it so that you either buy minutes (low volume) or unlimited. They had planned to do this anyway but bumped up the announcement when AT&T did. Voice is a commodity, yeah. But the other services are not. Portability, add on services, and so on--they're worth paying for.
[Hossein] ATT thinks competition is helping because it'll weed out companies that aren't making money. There's a fallacy that VOIP is a small market. He thinks about SOIP (Services over IP). PSTN was mostly about dumb phones. The switch did the work. But in the new world, that's not the case at all. And there's a lot of integration to come.
What about small and medium businesses?
[Charlie] Broadband is getting cheaper, both DSL and even T1 lines. In the small business world is where Covad does a ton of business. In the 5-250 phone installs, AT&T and Vonage aren't there. Those customers have varying needs. Some need monitoring, some needs lots of 800 lines, etc. But they like dealing with a single company for all of it.
What are the new applications we're going to see?
[Mike] 2.5 billion people have phones. They're essential, unlike PCs. The stuff people do on phones today has migrated from the PC (getting bits of information, contacts, etc). On phones we need a universal application language like we have on the Web. What is "HTML for the phone"? VoiceXML + VOIP is the combo he sees winning. Voicemail is a killer app. 411 and 1-800 numbers are killer apps. By opening up this platform, we'll have a flood of great applications.
(I just spaced out while the suits spoke many words and said very little. Ugh. Anyone got a good telephony buzzword drinking game?)
Layers. Spaces. Customer experience. Markets. Platforms. Migration. This Service. That Service. Mediation. Application Gateway. XML Infrastructure. Services. Core Competencies. Linux. Key Components. Global Network. Key Components. N to N. N Squared Model. Integrating Components. Chip Layer. N Squared Calculation.
AT&T debate going on now. Network this, endpoints that, value of network, endpoint math, blah, blah, blah. 4G wireless coming in 2006?
I hope this session ends soon. People look bored.
ADSL2, how's that affect things? Greater speed and reach. The last mile solution goes farther. (Yeay!) It combines voice and data on the same hardware in the CO and makes it cheaper.
Marc Canter wants VOIP interop. Audience applauds.
What if AT&T opened their billing system to developers who want to charge for VOIP and service apps they want to build?
"[AT&T] If it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features." :-)
Some 911 discussion.
See Also: My Web 2.0 post archive for coverage of all the other sessions I attended.
Posted by jzawodn at October 07, 2004 10:15 AM