27 July 2017
When Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call back in 1876, and was awarded the US patent for ‘transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically by causing electrical undulations’ , it wasn’t immediately clear that the world would change forever, and he could never have imagined a future where everyone carried smartphones as an extension of their personal being into a hyper-connected world.
One thing that hasn’t changed since those days however, would be that business telephony remains obstinately wired and physically connected in the main, and although there is some move to cloud based Unified Communications, predominantly larger enterprise users deploy physical systems with cabled connectivity from a network carrier.
The large telcos are slow to move away from legacy interfaces and exchange technologies rooted in the 20th century, and still use primarily ISDN network protocols such as DASS 2 and Q931 that are now close to 30 years old, while they continue to underinvest and sweat legacy assets. Only the more agile carriers have seen the future and started to displace the older technologies at scale.
Much has changed since 1988 when ISDN was born, and Margaret Thathcher was Prime Minister, the Ford Escort was the best selling car in the UK, and pound notes were legal tender, but if your telecoms hasn’t then you are indeed locked in the past.
The future is all about SIP technology or Session Initiation Protocol, which is becoming the de facto standard for connection between systems and multi-media endpoints in the first half of the 21st century. It is by it’s nature a very light-weight ‘protocol’, so isn’t encumbered in the way older methods are with strict models and inflexible integration techniques.
SIP is ready made for multi-media communications – voice, mobile, video and messaging, and with the right design can facilitate multi-modal contacts across different media, and also support broadcasting technologies. SIP technology is a world-wide recommendation that is not constrained by country-wide, or regional settings, so it fits everywhere!
It is destined to become the ubiquitous method of simple communication and is being rapidly adopted by carrier networks, CPE vendors, and cloud providers.
Soon you will have a single SIP address to replace all of your phone, mobile, email and web contacts irrespective of the end device and media it renders into.
SIP is also a vastly more cost effective medium for network services, and can save organisations significant amounts of money over the duration of a contract period.
This SIP technology will service us as an ‘always-on’ generation, in contact continually, and moving between video, voice and text at will.
The great Alexander Graham Bell was the father of modern communications, and never foresaw what his legacy would become for us that humbly followed, and built careers and networks in the footsteps of his genius.
Gary Dudbridge is a guest blogger for Gamma, with extensive experience as a Lead Telecommunications Architect with telecommunications networks, contact-centres and systems within high profile multi-national organisations, especially in the financial and telecoms sectors.
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27 July 2017 | Gary Dudbridge
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.