Some interesting VoIP-related news I read this week:
TAC to FCC: Set a Date Certain for the End of the PSTN – and the proposed year is 2018. The big concern seems to be maintenance of infrastructure when traditional landline subscribers are dropping off rapidly. I think that infrastructure still has a lot of value to it, but not necessarily for traditional telephone service. What could the utilities or private enterprise do with a copper grid and switching infrastructure that reaches even the most rural parts of the United States?
From the VoIP and Gadgets blog: How Skype Works With Facebook – an interesting interview about how Skype put their technology in the web browser for Facebook video chat. It’s basically the Skype client condensed down to a browser plugin.
Meanwhile, Google is doing it their own way with XMPP: Announcing Google+ Hangouts – Google keeps working at the XMPP extensions to make the protocol media-rich, and now they have group video chat. I don’t have a Google+ account and haven’t tried it out yet.
Google’s offering is standards-based: “To support Hangouts, we built an all-new standards-based cloud video conferencing platform.” And those standards are “XMPP, Jingle, RTP, ICE, STUN, SRTP” and “HTTPS + SRTP”. Some folks would say that it’s not “standards-based” unless SIP is doing the signaling. I think the only thing standard means today is that your work is published for others to use and some technical group of people reviews it. XMPP has that. SIP’s technical body is the IETF and H.323’s technical body is the ITU. Who’s more standard?
The standard with the most implementations wins (Betamax, anyone?) and Google has the weight to tip the end-user-connectivity scales toward XMPP/Jingle. SIP is firmly in place as the current IP trunking standard but might soon be falling behind when it comes to connecting the end-users.