Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)


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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

  1. 1. PITCOM Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) - An Introduction Peter Ingram Chief Technology Officer Ofcom 18th January 2005 ©Ofcom
  2. 2. Introduction to VoIP What is Voice over IP? Carrying Voice Traffic on Networks Designed for Data • Most data networks, e.g. the internet, • Not a new concept are unmetered • Technology now in place which may – VoIP may therefore appear to be “free” finally encourage mass adoption A wide range of “interfaces” From high tech… …to traditional ©Ofcom 1
  3. 3. Introduction to VoIP Circuits vs. Packets Traditional Voice Switch Switch Switch Circuits Voice over IP Internet Packets ©Ofcom 2
  4. 4. Introduction to VoIP PSTN – Traditional Voice Customer Customer Customer Customer Premises Premises Premises Premises Equipment Equipment Transit Core Core Transit Equipment Equipment Access Access Transit Transit Access Access (CPE) (CPE) (CPE) (CPE) Narrowband Narrowband Digital Main DMSU DMSU Digital Digital Main DLE DLE Digital Switching Switching Local Local Unit Unit Exchange Exchange Circuits • Dedicated resources reserved end-end • High levels of redundancy • Inflexible for non-voice • Spare capacity to deal with peaks • Relatively high cost High reliability ©Ofcom 3
  5. 5. Introduction to VoIP PC-to-PC VoIP Transit Core Core Transit Access Access Transit Transit Access Access CPE CPE CPE CPE ISP ISP DSLAM DSLAM ISP ISP DSL or Broadband DSL or Narrowband cable cable modem modem Narrowband Internet Narrowband Router Router PSTN PSTN Modem Modem DLE DLE Gateway Gateway PSTN user Packets • Software allows voice “calls” from one • Voice is converted to IP packets at PC PC to another • Works best on broadband • Different brands of software do not – Speed, always on - incoming calls usually interwork • Carried like normal data traffic by ISP, usually across public internet ©Ofcom 4
  6. 6. Introduction to VoIP PC-to-PC VoIP – e.g. Skype Free PC-PC • The most popular PC-PC VoIP software calling – Downloaded more than 50m times – Over 8m regular users SkypeOut Call PSTN phones for a fee Supports Conference Calling & Chat ©Ofcom 5
  7. 7. Introduction to VoIP Phone-to-Phone VoIP Transit Core Core Transit Access Access Transit Transit Access Access CPE CPE CPE CPE VSP VSP DSL or DSL or Broadband Cable Cable Modem Modem Broadband Internet VSP VSP ATA ATA VoIP Router Router user PSTN PSTN Narrowband Gateway Gateway PSTN user Circuits Packets • Use existing telephone with an • Called party may be another VoIP user Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) • Or, via a gateway, a traditional PSTN • Or use an IP phone customer • Both connect to Broadband modem ©Ofcom 6
  8. 8. Introduction to VoIP Phone-to-Phone VoIP – e.g. Vonage Analogue • One of the most popular hardware VoIP Telephone products in the US Adapter – 400,000 customers • Launched a UK service on 6th January – £9.99/month – Residential, unlimited UK calls to “normal” numbers Online Account Management Feature Set-up Billing ©Ofcom 7
  9. 9. Introduction to VoIP VoIP in the PSTN Transit Core Core Transit Access Access Transit Transit Access Access CPE CPE CPE CPE Narrowband Narrowband Digital Digital DLE DLE Local Local Incumbent-owned Incumbent-owned Exchange Exchange private IP network private IP network Circuits Packets • Many traditional PSTN calls are carried • Different from other VoIP as VoIP in part – Invisible to end customer • For efficiency reasons they may travel – Private IP network, not internet with other IP traffic – Controlled quality ©Ofcom 8
  10. 10. Introduction to VoIP VoIP in the Corporate Network Transit Core Core Transit Access Access Transit Transit Access Access CPE CPE CPE CPE Leased Line Internet VPN VPN Voice Data Office LAN Desks Packets • Increasingly common application of • Additionally, a single desk wiring VoIP infrastructure (LAN) may carry both • Company may carry their site-site voice data and voice (as VoIP) as IP over existing leased line or VPN • Voice may stay as IP or be converted to PSTN ©Ofcom 9
  11. 11. Introduction to VoIP International Comparisons Japan – leading the way USA – source of most activity • Most successful in terms of market • Lots of US VoIP press reports penetration – New product launches – Over 6 million VoIP subscribers – Should VoIP operators be taxed like other telephony providers • PSTN rentals and long distance calls are very expensive compared with UK • Free local calling and expensive long distance gives arbitrage opportunities • High broadband penetration • Allows powerful cable companies to offer voice Fundamental differences between leading VoIP markets, e.g. Japan and US, and the markets found in the UK and the rest of Europe ©Ofcom 10
  12. 12. VoIP Issues PATS – Publicly Available Telephony Services ECS • Under EU law, all VoIP services are “Electronic Communication Services” (ECS) – With this come a certain set of rights and obligations PATS Rights: • “Publicly Available Telephony Services” (PATS) are an • Number Portability important subset of ECS • Directory Listing – PSTN is an example of PATS • … • 4 core elements that define PATS Obligations: – Available to the public • Network Integrity – Make and receive national & international calls Guidelines – Access emergency services • Emergency access – Use international numbering plan standards • … • PATS implies more rights, but more onerous obligations on its operators ©Ofcom 11
  13. 13. VoIP Issues PATS & VoIP • VoIP operators may offer 4 core PATS elements to attract customers from PSTN – E.g. 999 calling Traditional Level of regulation telephone services • Should they therefore be defined as PATS? – Will given them rights, e.g. number Regulation portability applying to – Unlikely to be able to meet obligations, PATS Voice e.g. network integrity guidelines over IP services • Ongoing discussion in Europe ? • Ofcom approach Regulation – Don’t discourage VoIP offering 999 access applying to ECS – Review integrity guidelines More like traditional telephone services – Consumer information is key ©Ofcom 12
  14. 14. VoIP Issues Numbering Ofcom Decision • 056 number range allocated for Location Independent ECS • Geographic numbers may be allocated for new voice services (e.g. VoIP/VoB) Geographic or 056 Number shortages • VoIP operators can apply for either • Geographic number are a limited number range resource • Removes a potential barrier to VoIP • Number conservation required take-up – Ringing a VoIP phone can be just • Number changes may be required if like ringing any other there is a large VoIP demand ©Ofcom 13
  15. 15. VoIP Issues Ofcom Approach to VoIP Regulation Approach for dealing with VoIP regulatory issues • Many Potential Issues – Numbering Identify potential – Number portability issues – Definition of PATS – Availability of emergency calls Prioritise – Location information for emergency calls and identify approach – Network integrity – Interconnection – Pricing of calls to VoIP – Tone dialling No Provide guidance Integrate into Develop policy problem – Text relay for clarification existing work and consult – Quality of service Numbering – Lawful intercept 999 availability – Extra territorial service providers PATS classification ©Ofcom 14
  16. 16. VoIP Issues Impact on Consumers Typical example for • Cheaper calls ADSL Broadband Customer – “On net” usually free – “Off net” can be much cheaper Potential – Other fixed costs remain in most Saving cases – Savings may be limited £Variable Calls Calls £Variable • Greater choice of providers – Lower entry barriers £17.99 ADSL ADSL £17.99 • Value added services – Virtual numbers & area codes – Messaging – On line billing, call records etc. £10.50 PSTN PSTN £10.50 • Service Bundles ©Ofcom 15
  17. 17. VoIP Issues Summary • Broadband enables VoIP to compete – VoIP is not new, but needs Broadband to be a serious alternative to PSTN • All voice will eventually be carried as VoIP, whether visible to the consumer or not • Services are generally not identical to PSTN – Consumer education is essential • Wide spread take-up will increase importance of main regulatory issues – Regulatory classification – Numbering – Emergency access – Universal Service obligations – Pressure for “naked DSL” • UK market very different to US – may limit residential take-up – Business VoIP likely to continue to grow rapidly ©Ofcom 16