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The Drive for HD Voice Excitement: ITEXPO Interview


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August 08, 2011

The Drive for HD Voice Excitement: ITEXPO Interview

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The evolution in the technology space has rapidly increased in the communications space as social media and smartphones are changing the way in which people live, work and communicate. In anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO West event, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani sought to get the inside scoop from companies on the frontline, including Doug Mohney, Editor-in-Chief of the HD Voice News. According to Mohney, mobile HD voice is going like gangbusters throughout the global marketplace.

As for the most disruptive technology, Mohney points to CAT-iq as the next Big Thing. This plug-and-play wireless network has been licensed as the “clean” spectrum for data. When asked about the influence of the cloud, Mohney noted that we have yet to really scratch the surface of cloud capabilities in data centers. He shared some interesting insight on the mobile operating system war, highlighting that RIM will continue to be a declining niche as the company blew it with their tablet. He also believes HTML5 must have legs if Adobe (News - Alert) is pushing products around it.

At the upcoming ITEXPO West event, Mohney is looking forward to seeing if people will start to get excited about VoIP and HD voice again, especially with the anticipated rollout of HD voice support by Verizon Wireless (News - Alert). Mohney plans to moderate two sessions at the event and believes the “Evolving Interconnection – From TDM to IP and IMS Peering” will be very interesting, although “Why Video is a Must for Enterprise Communications” is expected to be lively.

Their entire conversation follows:

How has your market segment evolved over the past year and what trends have fueled those  changes?

Mobile HD voice service is going like gangbusters around the world.   A lot of this has come from France Telecom (News - Alert) pushing the technology into all of its operating areas around the globe. Other mobile carriers have joined the AMR-WB club this year, so you're going to start to see moves to be able to seamlessly exchange calls. 

What do you see as the next disruptive force in technology and how will it impact your market or business?

CAT-iq is the next Big Thing. Built on top of the DECT wireless standard, CAT-iq is evolving into a plug-and-play wireless network that has licensed, “clean” spectrum for data.  You're going to see a lot of CAT-iq 2.0 gear appear over the next three years, with the first cordless HD voice phones  that will have good or better feature functionality – things like shared  address books – than their analog counterparts.

How has the acceptance and adoption of the cloud model influenced your development cycle and process?

I've heard a lot of snarky comments about “The Cloud,” but I don't think we've really begun to even scratch the surface of cloud capabilities for data centers.  Geographically distributed computing gives you levels of business continuity people have dreamed about for years at an affordable price.

I think you're going to start to see people putting data centers into rural and less-well-traveled places because the cost of building outside of metro areas is a lot cheaper, power is a lot cheaper, and there's “free” cooling once you go north or into higher altitudes.

Maybe metro data centers will get recycled into “Maker” style do-it-yourself studios because they have all that available industrial power.   Can you imagine being able to take a 3-D design and email it to the industrial “print” shop in the morning and be able to pick it up in the afternoon?  That would be cool. Not as green as some would like, but very cool.

How do you see the mobile operating system war (iPhone vs. Android (News - Alert) vs. RIM vs. WM7) playing out?

I'd broaden your question to be IOS vs. Android, rather than iPhone.  Tablets bring a new game to the table.

I think RIM will remain a steadily declining niche. RIM blew it with its tablet.  Windows Mobile 7 is not relevant because there's no tablet using it.  HP's WebOS has more relevance than WM7 because HP has a tablet out and is putting marketing dollars behind it.

I think the iPad is a fascinating study in being optimized for one person's vision.  It's a beautiful piece of hardware, there are amazing apps for it, but if you want to move something from an SD card onto an iPad, it's either a kludgy dongle or a network connection.  The mail client on it drives me nuts and I wish someone would port something decent over.

Right now, the iPad and iOS have the edge in the tablet space, but I think you'll see some erosion just from the sheer number of tablets manufacturers are throwing into the space.  Be a sad time to be in the eBook reader biz.

Is HTML5 the game changer many predict it will be?

Well, it must have some legs if Adobe is starting to push product around it.

What are you most looking forward to at ITEXPO West  in Austin? What do you see as being the biggest trends at the show?

A lot of companies lost faith in VoIP and started chasing the video rainbow.  But if you take a look at the numbers Whaleback, Vonage, and 8x8 (News - Alert) are posting, VoIP still has a lot of life left. 

I'm looking forward to see if people start get excited about VoIP and HD voice again, especially since Verizon Wireless will roll out HD voice support when VoLTE comes out in 2012.  I think you'll see more tablet applications – as opposed to iPad giveaways – in Austin.

What issues will you be addressing during your ITEXPO session and why should attendees be sure to attend?

I'm moderating two sessions and I think the “Evolving Interconnection - From TDM to IP and IMS Peering” session at 3 PM on Wednesday will be very interesting.  I think we're starting to see cracks in the service provider “dam” with SIP peering and that will open up seamless HD voice and video and telepresence.   To date, a lot of the talk has been around the need for directories and hub-and-spoke architectures, but with mid-sized to bigger service providers starting to finally move forward on SIP peering, we should see more rapid adaption.

“Why video is a must for Enterprise Communications” on Tuesday at 12:30 should be lively.  I think some video is a must for enterprise communications, but we're not ready for the everybody-has-a-desktop-camera world yet.  There's cost, there's bandwidth, there's complexity on the network and nobody's really looked at the social and workplace impact issues involved. 

Let's say everyone has a video camera.  Now, I am having a bad hair day or I spilled my drink all over my white shirt and now I have to walk down the hall past a couple of video sessions in cube land.   Not flattering for me to be on Candid Camera and likely to be distracting if I'm walking past Bob's head while he's on the video session.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend
ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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