Monday, December 13, 2010

Will SIP ever take off?

It has been crossing my mind that this can really happen...

1) Talk time telco plans will morph into data plans, and it won't take that long, starting in well developed countries. Absurd data plan prices will be gone, no matter how hard traditional telco operators would like to avoid that to happen.

2) Once data plans spread to most phones, web/cloud based communication services will compete hard to become the new global voice operators, chances are that the mobile OS vendors (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia?) and sites like Facebook will become the major players.

3) None of these, except Nokia, seems a fan of SIP...


  1. Anonymous12:43 AM

    This is a likely scenario. Walled gardens continue to live in the data world.

    SIP is thriving in Telco infrastructure, but it hasn't reached mass developer adoption for one reason or another.

    In the meanwhile we are exiting the middleware age and entering the cloud age, which calls for higher level cloud APIs.

    Ringful, Ribbit, Twillio, Voxeo Tropo are leading that wave.

  2. 1. Telco operators do not want to be a pipe only for data services, instead they want to recell everything under their own brand.

    2. OS vendors(Apple, Google, Microsoft?) or sites like Facebook never will be responsible for emergency calls, etc... They never will be major player, their area is "global additional services" what in absolute value is a good piece.

    3. SIP/SIP-T/SIGTRAN and legacy will play the key role for primary services.

    4. Let's do not forget about market of PBXs, phones, etc. How they will co-operate with Facebook or Apple communcator?

  3. Ivelin, I see the mashup formula as the new telco service provider. An interesting shift, specially on cost of running the services.

    Oleg, in this scenario, traditional telco operators have no choice, they don't control the user base anymore. It's obvious the user base will want free calls if they already pay data... Also look what is happening with new gen smart phones Apps and Games, all controlled by OS maker (iPhone, Windows Phone 7) or no control at all (Android), why would voice service follow a different model? PBXs will be an added value, and can't see why Google and others such as Skype would not want such market.

  4. Most of the french operators allow you to call through SIP already (just no on the mobile front where they want to keep the money as long as possible) since a number of years. When I'm abroad and connected to wifi I can call for free to 100 destinations worldwide just by using my SIP account provided by my operator. On The mobile front google just added support for SIP natively in Android 2.3. I can't help notice that Skype allows SIP interop as well
    + all the PBX and enterprise market.

    To me it has already taken off and this is why we see all the shortcomings of it.

    But even for mashups services, or cloud service like tropo allow or use SIP behind the covers.

    Now even in the data world there will be a need for a common protocol or protocols to interoperate together so that users can call/conference/video each other and not live in isolated silos.

    Now it will depend on how fast those protocols can evolve to build the next services generating revenue or can interop well between each other. I guess only time will tell or if a dominant player will succeed to make on of those procotols the reference.

  5. I would say that it makes traditional telco operators a bit nervous because they are felt already the taste of value added and don't loose something :)

    About user base... My opinion is that currently telco owns user base what makes market for OS makers as well and not vice versa. Also my intuition says me that this order will be same in the feature.

    Regarding telco service providers, at least in Russia there is already typical model for VAS: carrier provider/service provider/content provider

  6. I think VoIP is inevitable as most disruptive technologies are. Carriers are only interested in it as far as much as they can control and formalise it "a-la" IMS for example. Ordinary users aren't going to pay extra just for acronyms like QoS and TLS.

    Broadband penetration is getting better in developing countries like South Africa where I am at, but I can't get good reliable communication at the moment using services like Fring on my mobile in "3G covered" areas.

    The battle for SIP is also a battle for developers and making SIP "cool" to a community that largely prefers HTTP protocols, XML and Jabber. I think SIP Servlets and Web services are probably the way forward on that.