VoIP in countries

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by Luiz Lima, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Luiz Lima

    Luiz Lima Guest

    Hello all,

    I am working on a competitive analysis project on Europe's top VoIP
    (voice over IP) countries. My focus is on consumer software products
    such as Skype, Yahoo!Messenger, AOL's AIM etc. I am very much
    interested in understanding the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finish and
    Russian markets. Not speaking any of the local languages, it has been a
    challenge...

    I have not found any local products yet, but I am sure they are there!

    So, what I need are some insights on the market situation. I have a
    general ISP and telecom view, but no latest VoIP trends. What are the
    local most important competitors? How do they promote themselves? Any
    alliances with ISPs or start-up phone companies? How do they compete
    with global products such as Skype, MSN, Yahoo! etc? Why would a
    national of any of those countries choose a local solution rather than,
    for example, Skype or a more international SIP-based solution?

    Any information is more than welcome. Please post to the group or send
    to my e-mail.

    Thank you all very much!

    Luiz
    Luiz Lima, Jun 26, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Hi Luiz,

    "Luiz Lima" <> wrote:

    > So, what I need are some insights on the market situation. I have a
    > general ISP and telecom view, but no latest VoIP trends. What are the
    > local most important competitors? How do they promote themselves? Any
    > alliances with ISPs or start-up phone companies? Why would a national of
    > any of those countries choose a local solution rather than a more
    > international SIP-based solution?



    For many years we had a monopoly situation in Germany (see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Telekom) This changed during the 90s,
    and meanwhile many companies who own long distance lines offer services to
    end users. However the "last mile" to the end user is still owned by
    Deutsche Telekom in most cases so the new providers have to pay for using
    this line. This last mile issue can be overcome if the user has a flat rate
    for Internet access anyway and uses it to do the VoIP connection to someone
    to offer VoIP to landline (POTS) connection. Many of these VoIP providers
    don't support ENUM (http://www.enum.org/, http://www.enum-center.de/) to map
    phone numbers to SIP-URIs they only support dialing shortcuts to reach
    partners. Some of them disabled pure VoIP connections outside their own
    network even if you use a SIP-URI directly. This is why I suspect that they
    aren't really interested in pure VoIP, but rather want to do POTS business
    and overcome the "last mile issue".

    Some internet providers sponsor VoIP-hardware if you close a 1 or 2 years
    contract with them. All of them offer SIP-based solutions. The only place
    where Skype is promoted are Laptops, which come preconfigured with Skype and
    some free minutes.

    Christian
    Christian Barmala, Jun 26, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Christian Barmala wrote:
    > Hi Luiz,
    >
    > "Luiz Lima" <> wrote:
    >
    > > So, what I need are some insights on the market situation. I have a
    > > general ISP and telecom view, but no latest VoIP trends. What are the
    > > local most important competitors? How do they promote themselves? Any
    > > alliances with ISPs or start-up phone companies? Why would a national of
    > > any of those countries choose a local solution rather than a more
    > > international SIP-based solution?

    >
    > For many years we had a monopoly situation in Germany (see
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Telekom) This changed during the 90s,
    > and meanwhile many companies who own long distance lines offer services to
    > end users. However the "last mile" to the end user is still owned by
    > Deutsche Telekom in most cases so the new providers have to pay for using
    > this line. This last mile issue can be overcome if the user has a flat rate
    > for Internet access anyway and uses it to do the VoIP connection to someone
    > to offer VoIP to landline (POTS) connection. Many of these VoIP providers
    > don't support ENUM (http://www.enum.org/, http://www.enum-center.de/) to map
    > phone numbers to SIP-URIs they only support dialing shortcuts to reach
    > partners. Some of them disabled pure VoIP connections outside their own
    > network even if you use a SIP-URI directly. This is why I suspect that they
    > aren't really interested in pure VoIP, but rather want to do POTS business
    > and overcome the "last mile issue".


    But exactly how can one run a business based on pure VoIP? SIP is an
    essentially peer-to-peer protocol apart from the directory
    functionality, and either ENUM or a free registrar like FWD may provide
    the latter at no cost. The "VoIP provider" business only exists because
    most VoIP calls, today, end up terminated through the PSTN or are
    initiated with a PSTN call to a DID number, but as more and more people
    will move away from POTS devices to VoIP devices that line of business
    is going to die out (and anyway there are plenty of third-party
    "terminators" in healthy competition with each other (Voxee, VoipJet,
    Teliax etc.) that can pick up the leftovers). Things were different
    when gateways were dumb devices controlled through MGCP and the
    intelligence lived inside expensive units, but nowadays with less than
    USD 100 one can buy smart ATA's and even embedded PBX's (such as the
    Asterisk port to OpenWRT that runs on 80 dollar WRT54GS routers).

    In summary, with intelligence moving to the edge (where it rightly
    belongs, in an Internet context) the carriers are left with nothing
    else to do but routing opaque IP packets. It's a commoditized business
    that everybody hates, but I can see no alternative for the poor old
    dinosaurs.

    Enzo
    Enzo Michelangeli, Jun 26, 2005
    #3
  4. "Enzo Michelangeli" <-ip.com>
    > how can one run a business based on pure VoIP?
    > The "VoIP provider" business only exists because most VoIP calls, today,
    > end up terminated through the PSTN


    1995 someone predicted on a telecom conference: "In the past telephone calls
    were billed according to time and distance. In the future they will be
    billed by bandwitch, volume and latency or other quality parameters." POTS
    providers provide flat rates for Intra German calls and Internet providers
    offer Flat rates as well as volume tarifs. If you think in this categroy it
    does not matte if you transfer you phone call over IP or over POTS. Even the
    billing parameters converge between IP ant POTS.

    I compare it to the difference between oil and gas heating. You can't escape
    the oil price by using gas. It's price will increase too. However gas is
    easier to use than oil.

    Providers will compete with each other based on the ease of use and value
    added features they provide: Create your personal phone book in the
    Internet, click on an address and your and your partner's phone rings.
    Convert between fax and email. Check your voicemail from all over the world.
    Use a single line for phone, data, TV, and future services.

    Christian
    Christian Barmala, Jun 26, 2005
    #4
  5. Christian Barmala wrote:
    > "Enzo Michelangeli" <-ip.com>
    > > how can one run a business based on pure VoIP?
    > > The "VoIP provider" business only exists because most VoIP calls, today,
    > > end up terminated through the PSTN

    >
    > 1995 someone predicted on a telecom conference: "In the past telephone calls
    > were billed according to time and distance. In the future they will be
    > billed by bandwitch, volume and latency or other quality parameters."


    It has been clear for a while that flat-fee was the way to go, also
    because technology has steadily reduced the actual cost of
    long-distance communications long before the Internet revolution:
    people like Andrew Odlyzko made this point for many years (see e.g.
    http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue2_7/odlyzko/). However, for a
    while the telcos carried on with the traditional model (and
    traditionally high charges) because they could, thanks to their
    monopoly status. First the Internet, and then VoIP, have exploded that
    fiction, forcing low and flat-fee pricing also for POTS services. In
    Hong Kong, where I live, a couple of telcos are presently offering
    flat-fee IDD to more than 20 countries for $5 - $12 a month. Europe is
    much less deregulated and competitive, so the charges there are still
    comparatively high.

    > POTS
    > providers provide flat rates for Intra German calls and Internet providers
    > offer Flat rates as well as volume tarifs. If you think in this categroy it
    > does not matte if you transfer you phone call over IP or over POTS. Even the
    > billing parameters converge between IP ant POTS.
    >
    > I compare it to the difference between oil and gas heating. You can't escape
    > the oil price by using gas. It's price will increase too. However gas is
    > easier to use than oil.


    But gas and oil are both scarce commodities: VoIP telephony is just a
    service on top of an existing resource (IP bandwidth) and its marginal
    cost is close to zero. (In fact, also the marginal cost of POTS
    telephony is about zero, but the POTS infrastructure doesn't serve any
    other purpose, so there is little incentive for the user to pay for it
    if VoIP can replace it.)

    > Providers will compete with each other based on the ease of use and value
    > added features they provide: Create your personal phone book in the
    > Internet, click on an address and your and your partner's phone rings.
    > Convert between fax and email. Check your voicemail from all over the world.


    These are all services that it will be very difficult to charge for,
    just as it has proved nearly impossible to charge for web or e-mail
    services. There are just too many good free alternatives: right now,
    just to name a few, FWD for directory and voicemail, Ipkall and Sipgate
    for DID numbers, several others for both, e2 for fax-to-email
    conversion... Premium services will attract some charges, but the bad
    old days of monopolistic exploitation achieved through vertical
    integration are gone for good, thanks to the unbundling of transport
    and service layers and the global access to services allowed by the
    Internet model. (Which is why mobile phone providers tried, with WAP,
    to enforce "walled-garden" policies: with the relust of making of WAP a
    dismal failure).

    > Use a single line for phone, data, TV, and future services.


    This is not a VoIP service: it's the benefit of using IP for all the
    types of communication. And bringing IP bandwidth to a user will be the
    only really chargeable service, which is why it is our interest as
    users to try our best to prevent monopolies in this area. The real
    battle between consumers and suppliers will be in the "last mile"
    bringing IP connectivity to each business and residential user.

    Enzo
    Enzo Michelangeli, Jun 27, 2005
    #5
  6. Christian Barmala wrote:
    > "Enzo Michelangeli" <-ip.com>
    > > how can one run a business based on pure VoIP?
    > > The "VoIP provider" business only exists because most VoIP calls, today,
    > > end up terminated through the PSTN

    >
    > 1995 someone predicted on a telecom conference: "In the past telephone calls
    > were billed according to time and distance. In the future they will be
    > billed by bandwitch, volume and latency or other quality parameters."


    It has been clear for a while that flat-fee was the way to go, also
    because technology has steadily reduced the actual cost of
    long-distance communications long before the Internet revolution:
    people like Andrew Odlyzko made this point for many years (see e.g.
    http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue2_7/odlyzko/). However, for a
    while the telcos carried on with the traditional model (and
    traditionally high charges) because they could, thanks to their
    monopoly status. First the Internet, and then VoIP, have exploded that
    fiction, forcing low and flat-fee pricing also for POTS services. In
    Hong Kong, where I live, a couple of telcos are presently offering
    flat-fee IDD to more than 20 countries for $5 - $12 a month. Europe is
    much less deregulated and competitive, so the charges there are still
    comparatively high.

    > POTS
    > providers provide flat rates for Intra German calls and Internet providers
    > offer Flat rates as well as volume tarifs. If you think in this categroy it
    > does not matte if you transfer you phone call over IP or over POTS. Even the
    > billing parameters converge between IP ant POTS.
    >
    > I compare it to the difference between oil and gas heating. You can't escape
    > the oil price by using gas. It's price will increase too. However gas is
    > easier to use than oil.


    But gas and oil are both scarce commodities: VoIP telephony is just a
    service on top of an existing resource (IP bandwidth) and its marginal
    cost is close to zero. (In fact, also the marginal cost of POTS
    telephony is about zero, but the POTS infrastructure doesn't serve any
    other purpose, so there is little incentive for the user to pay for it
    if VoIP can replace it.)

    > Providers will compete with each other based on the ease of use and value
    > added features they provide: Create your personal phone book in the
    > Internet, click on an address and your and your partner's phone rings.
    > Convert between fax and email. Check your voicemail from all over the world.


    These are all services that it will be very difficult to charge for,
    just as it has proved nearly impossible to charge for web or e-mail
    services. There are just too many good free alternatives: right now,
    just to name a few, FWD for directory and voicemail, Ipkall and Sipgate
    for DID numbers, several others for both, e2 for fax-to-email
    conversion... Premium services will attract some charges, but the bad
    old days of monopolistic exploitation achieved through vertical
    integration are gone for good, thanks to the unbundling of transport
    and service layers and the global access to services allowed by the
    Internet model. (Which is why mobile phone providers tried, with WAP,
    to enforce "walled-garden" policies: with the result of making of it a
    dismal failure).

    > Use a single line for phone, data, TV, and future services.


    This is not a VoIP service: it's the benefit of using IP for all the
    types of communication. And bringing IP bandwidth to a user will be the
    only really chargeable service, which is why it is our interest as
    users to try our best to prevent monopolies in this area. The real
    battle between consumers and suppliers will be in the "last mile"
    bringing IP connectivity to each business and residential user.

    Enzo
    Enzo Michelangeli, Jun 27, 2005
    #6
  7. Luiz Lima

    ubifone Guest

    Dear Luiz,

    Hi, how are you?

    I'm Samuel Kfir-El, an IT Consultant with worldwide experience.

    I'm convinced that what you need is in here:

    http://www.uninumber.ubifone.com/

    For further questions, please do fell FREE to contact me on:


    Kind Regards,

    Sam

    -------------------------------------
    Luiz Lima wrote:




    > Hello all,


    > I am working on a competitive analysis project on Europe's top VoIP
    > (voice over IP) countries. My focus is on consumer software products
    > such as Skype, Yahoo!Messenger, AOL's AIM etc. I am very much
    > interested in understanding the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finish and
    > Russian markets. Not speaking any of the local languages, it has been a
    > challenge...


    > I have not found any local products yet, but I am sure they are there!


    > So, what I need are some insights on the market situation. I have a
    > general ISP and telecom view, but no latest VoIP trends. What are the
    > local most important competitors? How do they promote themselves? Any
    > alliances with ISPs or start-up phone companies? How do they compete
    > with global products such as Skype, MSN, Yahoo! etc? Why would a
    > national of any of those countries choose a local solution rather than,
    > for example, Skype or a more international SIP-based solution?


    > Any information is more than welcome. Please post to the group or send
    > to my e-mail.


    > Thank you all very much!


    > Luiz







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    ubifone, Jul 29, 2005
    #7
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