2003 September

September 2003

Today I found out that IPtel.org recently released a new version of the SIP Express Router, ser. It has got a lot of new features, especially on the NAT handling side, that looks very interesting. I spent some time Wikifying documentation on the SER modules and found out that this must be the platform for Jeff Pulver\’s Free World Dialup network.

I have to get this version up and running on my FreeBSD system. Now.

In order to learn more about Asterisk, I\’ve spent time building an Asterisk Wiki on the VOIP-INFO.ORG wiki. All the applications you use in the dialplan are documented and now other people have started to add examples, tips and tricks and lots of useful information. If you are interested in the Asterisk Open Source PBX, visit the Wiki. And if you have experience with Asterisk, please help us build user community documentation!

Since the days of the first Hayes\’ modem, there has been no other common standard on how to let computers specifiy phone numbers, as far as I know. This new RFC is a common specification synchronized with other documentation, amongst them the RFC specifying URLs for Telephone Calls.

This memo describes the full set of notations needed to represent a text string in a Dial Sequence. A Dial Sequence is normally composed of Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) elements, plus separators and additional \”actions\” (such as \”wait for dialtone\”, \”pause for N secs\”, etc.) which could be needed to successfully establish the connection with the target service: this includes the cases where subaddresses or DTMF menu navigation apply.

Jane Black writes in BusinessWeek.com that it\’s time to rewrite the rules of telecom. I fully agree. For us datacom geeks, voice over Internet is just another application. The most important change with SIP is that, when properly implemented, it gives the internet user a location and an identity. Up to now, e-mail is the only user identity on the net.
The e-mail system is store-and-forward and not real time. SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol, is a platform for real time sessions between Internet users.
This new Internet communication platform is independent of where the user is connected – the SIP location server keeps track of current IP addresses of the user. Real time sessions between SIP users can be whiteboards, chat, file transfer, games, video and
As soon as someone mention voice sessions, telecom regulators wake up and say: \”hrrm, there\’s something going on here we should possibly regulate\”.

The SIP vision is a network when we connect to each other for real time sessions with SIP adresses – setting up sessions between user@domain entities, just like e-mail. While waiting for that to happen, we have to be able to reach the old world with gateways, connecting the Internet real-time-session platform to the old voice-over-copper platform. The only way to do that is to use phone numbers. And as soon as we do that, the regulators get wide awake. Especially since the regulators often work for states that control the large voice-over-copper service providers, the telcos, or incumbent carriers. And likely thet state get a revenue stream from the old service providers, but not the new ones.
It would be sad to see the real-time revolution on the net being stopped by these forces. It\’s already about to happen in Minnesota – where next? It may be your state or country!
Read this article!

Businessweek.com:\”Time to Rewrite the Rules of Telecom
Now that voice calls can be sent over the Net, existing phone regulations are becoming irrelevant. The FCC has to make some tough choices \”

Phil Hochmuth reports on a report from IDC covering Microsofts RTC server, or the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003:

While IP PBX vendors duke it out for market share in the converged LAN/WAN arena, a recent analyst report warns not to count out a certain software vendor from Redmond.

A report from IDC identifies Microsoft as a potential force in the enterprise telephony market in the coming years, as the company moves forward with its strategy for converging voice, video and chat applications into its PC and server operating systems, as well as its Office applications. Meanwhile, some voice-over-IP (VoIP) vendors are partnering with Microsoft to make their equipment and applications work together.