My Brief History
Ham radio operator since 1975.
Unemployed accountant since 1985.
Started Free World Dialup in 1995.
Started the VON Coalition in 1996.
Started producing the trade show for the VoIP Industry
known as the “VON Conferences” in 1997.
Founded the company that became Vonage back in 1998.
Provide Thought Leadership in the VoIP Industry.
- Run several other trade events to drive the industry.
Currently incubating IP-related startups in my office.
In 1995, I recognized that
“Voice is just an Application”
• When properly deployed, VoIP
applications can be located anywhere.
• VoIP Management tools must be
developed which enhance
enhancements the standard models
currently used to manage data
• Service providers need not own
everything in the call path to offer
• VoIP represents a great opportunity
for service providers to break away
from their traditional conception, as
they can now rival traditional
Fiber, POTS, etc.
Voice, Video, etc.
I am also a Dad!
I am also “A Dad” whose almost 11 year old twin sons have
grown up on the internet since they were 3 years old and
they remain a major influence in the way I look at
products, services and features.
What is this all about?
• Its about all our kids …
– “Always-on”; Growing up gameboy.
– They navigate intuitively.
– They expect high-speed access wherever they are
– They expect a visual display and navigation
buttons like a Gameboy. The phone keypad is not
– They expect instantaneous communications
– “Talking” does not mean “Just Talk” anymore!
The morphing from
“Traditional” phone services to
IP Communication Services
IP Communications Transforms Communications
• Seamless integration with the web
• Multimodal Messaging
• Instant Messaging using any/all media
• Caller and called party preferences
party call control
• Call this heteromorphic communications,
because IP Communications is only emulating the
PSTN, IN, & PBX features…for the sake of familiarity.
It will be something vastly different
To build for the next generation
-- Break the current mindset
The Internet Generation has a different perception of
• Losing touch is a thing of the past in an Always-On world.
– Friendships are more easily maintained following graduation
– Friendships extend beyond geography
– An expectation of a mix of communication options, including text,
voice, and video (as well as filesharing of pictures, music, etc.)
• Presence is intuitively understood
– Peer-to-Peer solutions will continue to evolve, and endpoints will
enjoy strong integration with core technologies.
– Cater to High School grads since Class of ’99, those using Instant
– For them, every day is a virtual High School Reunion
2004 – The Year of the VoIP Wolf
• We had been crying VoIP wolf for 10 years – well, 2004
was the year the Wolf arrived
• 2004 -- one amazing Year for VoIP
– at least in the US and other forward-looking countries
– some jurisdictions, however, have looked backwards, or
indicated intentions to look backwards
• 2004…Billions of dollars committed to be spent to gain $25/month
• 2004…VoIP advertising present on TV, radio, the Web, and in
print…around the world!
• 2004…FCC trying to create viable VoIP market
From the pulver Orderpulver Orderto the Vonage Order
VoIP is proving to the first great
driver of Broadband!
Creation of a “Virtuous Cycle”: VoIP drives Broadband which drives
IP communications which drives Broadband which drives IP
More than 8 million people paying for Voice over BB
- It becomes really interesting when we get critical mass (n2
Wireless Mobility is emerging in a Fixed Wireless Broadband
environment due to wide availability of edge devices including
PDAs, Dual mode phones, and other Wi-Fi enabled solutions.
Landline replacement snowballing –
wireless is not yet a regulatory replacement of Wireline.
But 2004 was about Cheap Voice
For the past two years the press has rambled on
about how VoIP is just cheap voice that:
• Bypasses an incumbent
• Does not pay its fair share.
•Basic Lack of Innovation is a real concern
– Candidly, I can understand their confusion, since the
most innovative things we are doing are on the PSTN
– “When you quack like a duck, people are going to think you are
a duck…and they’re going to think you want to be a duck.”
Today, we are at the Tipping
point from Hype to Reality!
… today …
• 2005 - the year every major carrier will offer (or
claim to offer) VoIP
– Frankly, Carriers that have not adopted a VoIP
strategy by 2005 might not be around in 2007.
• Every Internet Application provider could offer
• Everyone can become a “Broadband Parasite”
– This should be happening on global basis
Bottom Line for 2005:
End-To-End IP Is Happening
End–to–End IP is fundamentally different than existing
legacy networks. It affects:
• Consumer-to-Consumer; Enterprise-to-Enterprise;
– End-to-end IP could be the “Telco Killer”
- International Carrier “Disintermediation”
Soon “Communication Servers” can be as popular as Web
Servers and eMail servers.
Also, End-to-End IP is a key component in the inevitable
migration to an Open Source World (Asterisk is here!)
- Or do the proprietary solutions, like Skype, win?
Let’s make sure today, or at
least tomorrow, is not ALL about
cheap voice and lack of
Adaptation and Network Evolution:
The IP Revolution must evolve from what already exists
• In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have the limitations of:
– copper in the ground
– mere 10 digit numbers
• What if the musical scale only had three notes
• what if our communication devices only had ten digits – oh
right, they do
– Misallocated spectrum
– Different rules for different platforms
– Multiple regulating jurisdictions with rules written for
the old world
• We work with what we got and incorporate change
– What if we miraculously evolved a 6th finger and we were stuck with 5-fingered gloves? Is IP the 6th finger in a 5-fingered glove? – useless in a 5-fingered glove,
but invaluable for 6-fingered gloves.
– What if the Egyptians failed to introduce “0” to mathematics? Is IP the equivalent of “0” which will transform communications the way “0” transformed math?
What would music be like if
• Classical music is over 200 years old and most
of the time the interpretation is only to better
recreate the original experience
• American “Merican” music was originally Jazz,
Blues, and Rock & Roll.
– Pop music is filled with cross over styles
– Covers are actually adaptive
• What if we had only 5 notes to a scale?
– Would we have had the nerve to create the 8-note
Consumer Experiences –
The IP Revolution Might be Incremental
• Franchises/ chain stores / motels, restaurants
– People want predictable experiences
– Walking into a store you expect the same look and
– Voice services need to follow the same expectations.
• My Coffee experience
– Dunkin Donuts – they fix my coffee for me.
– Starbucks / 7-Eleven – I get to self empower myself
…today consumers have the choice to self empower
their own communication services or continue to get
their hand held.
What VoIP can learn from Wireless
The wireless industry set consumer expectations for
secondary voice services, and as such VoIP only needs to
match established cellular service levels.
We should learn from the regulatory approach the wireless
industry has taken over the past 20+ years.
Wireless has a consistency of service within a carriers
solution but not between carriers.
The customer expects similar offerings but wireless is more
like a car purchase then a landline offering. The VoIP
providers are likewise going to have differentiate based on
But wireless should learn to exploit Wifi and Bluetooth, not stifle it
The Future is not about dialing…
• Numbers are a 120-year-old mistake
• We should be calling people, not
– Already implemented by the Mobile
– Dialing-by-alias is used in Instant
You Know My Name
(Look up the
You know my name,
look up the number
You know my name,
look up the number
You, you know, you
know my name
You, you know, you
know my name
…it’s about Presence:
Presence is the Next Billion Dollar Opportunity
• Commercializing Presence is the next multi-billion
dollar opportunity inside of the IP Communications
• Increasing call completion will be a key to the future
• We have the basic building blocks already in place,
now someone just has to connect-the-dots!
• Gaming (Sony PSP, Nintendo DS)
–Nextgen games become widespread
leaders in WiFi VoIP services
• Enterprise Communication
• Roaming from Cellular to Enterprise
Wi-Fi and back again.
music + telecom:
we are more than music on hold
• The Advent of Ringtones has given birth to
content licensing in Telecom. This is
going to intensify with ringback tones and
• We are seeing the effects of Moore’s Law
on the Communications sector
• “Smart” answering machines will
happen…personal central office services
can happen too!
• Open Source Communications will
give us free phone systems for the
home. The PC becomes the home
• Happens in years, not decades.
• VoIP is a global phenomenon
• Presumptuous of any government to
think it can regulate
• The new divide will emerge between
–those governments that embrace IP
–those governments that shun IP
Challenge to Industry and Government:
Build Broadband Ubiquity and
Interoperability without Stifling Innovation
• Build new IP-enabled, broadband networks
• Ensure interoperability
• But don’t stifle innovation at the edge
– Bluetooth/WiFi/Ultra Wide Band/IP-based CPE
• Ensure consumer control and Internet innovation
• Need for Industry-Based solutions on a global scale
– Addressing interoperability and public policy
Gadgets / Devices
• 2005 will see next generation IP
phones in the sub $50 pricepoint
• One day the $10
“Princess” IP phone will become
• Video becomes more real.
• 'Voice enabled' becomes part of the
internet user experience
Evolving Services and Experiences
• “The Personal Central Office”
– Time of Day call routing, call controls
• Solves needless wake-up calls and calls which interrupt my
– Ultimate empowerment to the end user.
• Home Wi-Fi in towns with high broadband
penetration becoming widespread…someone
will commercialize this soon.
• Look for Neighborhoods to create their own Wi-Fi Mesh Networks
and offer private services including presence based tracking
services of dogs, kids, bicycles, (library books) to private
Some Predictions for 2005
• Open Source communications gains momentum – effects felt in ‘06
• ENUM happens (for real), unless shut down by those with numbers.
• Wi-Fi Hotspots expand; Where is Wi-Max?
• Bluetooth sees its day (at least as an interim solution)
• 2005 will see the emergence of the first dual, or multi-mode, phones
capable of switching from WiFi to mobile wireless (and perhaps to
landline); but who will buy them?
• Ultra Wide Band codecs happen.
• And it will not be until at least 2007 before transmission media truly
become interchangeable and it’s all just IP over anything.
Look to the Future
• To date, VoIP has, unfortunately, been about
– Cheap Voice
• If we’re talking about the future, we should be
talking about the future of talking
• Look to our children and try to create what they
will need/want to communicate
– Build on what we have
– But don’t be afraid to introduce the new
Nothing is Impossible!
IP Communications is changing the way we
work and live, and it has the potential to
completely redefine communication as we
know it today.
• Stop accepting replacement technologies.
• Push forward on the edge.
• Work with those who may create roadblocks to
• Please Make Contact!
–Jeff Pulver, firstname.lastname@example.org
–Jonathan Askin, Wartime Consigliere
–Carl Ford, Community Developer