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Networking Week In Review: All VoIP, All The Time

Industry shows are always a time for product news and related developments, and this week's Spring VON 2005 show in San Jose certainly lived up to its billing. The news and announcements came fast and furious. Most notably, AOL announced AOL Internet Phone Service,with pricing and availability details to come in the next 30 days. AOL chief executive Jon Miller said the new service won't just replace existing phone service, but will also use its e-mail and instant-messaging chops to bring more features to voice communications.

But it wasn't all products, all the time, at the show. A panel warned that telecom regulation reform most likely won't occur in 2005. Conflicts between politicians will probably delay the typically incomprehensible process of drafting new telecom legislation, panelists said. Are you shocked, simply shocked!

Away from the show, there was plenty of VoIP news as well. Multiple surveys showed that there's huge pent-up demand for VoIP from both consumers and enterprises:

  • A Level 3 Communications survey found that 71% of respondents would consider subscribing to VoIP services, though many said that they still require more information before making the leap.
  • An Empirix survey found that 52 percent of enterprises are deploying some form of VoIP, 46 percent have deployment plans, and only two percent do not plan to use VoIP.

Global Crossing, meanwhile, announced it is continuing its migration to VoIP switches on its multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network with the de-commissioning of legacy time-division multiplexing (TDM) switches in four cities. The move was made in response to increasing levels of VoIP traffic, which accounted for almost half of the firm's total voice traffic by the end of 2004.

3COM got into the act, by shipping a new terabit switch for converged networks, designed for large-scale, secure convergence and application integration, and that targets IP telephony.

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