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  Reply # 843901 25-Jun-2013 11:48
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Technofreak: For a revolutionary telephony system to replace POTS in the short to medium there needs to be a a major driving force.  Significant price advantage, significantly better interface,  significantly more features that are not just seen as gimicks.


I think the driver will be UFB. As they start pulling out the copper, the costs of running the NEAXs will become too great for the number of subscribers. I think we will see an increased push in the next little while to get people on to UFB. The NZ Gov have made a very large investment in it and it's not being widely taken up at the moment - and I think they will want to see that change.

I see an evolutionary change as old technology becomes unsupportable and the other options gain better inter-operability or run on an accepted standard. Right row I cannot use one VOIP or similar system to call anyone else, I cannot call someone on Facetime with Skype.  This will need to change.


Yes, and I think that is a big danger now. The likes of Apple really want you to get hooked on FaceTime, as it's just another thing that locks you into their platform. SIP on the other hand is a very widely adopted standard used by many different systems. Symbian had a great SIP implementation in their OS even years ago, and more recently Android has it as well. Apple on the other hand doesn't have good SIP support as you can't run it in the background or integrate it into the phone. Apple will want you to use their system (perhaps an advancement of FaceTime), when they feel the time is right to invent VoIP.

One thing that is already happening is some people are opting just to have a mobile number with no PSTN, I see this becoming more the norm and perhaps variations on this.


I would like to see NZ reserve a new number range for 'non-geographical' calling, but not in the mobile range. (Perhaps we can use the 05 prefix? Not sure that's used for much these days). These should be assignable to anything, could be a mobile or could be a landline and not tied to a region. From the PSTN, they should be billed as a national call, and if there are destination costs (Like you want to terminate it on a mobile but not on IP, then you pay for incoming calls). In the near future that wouldn't be an issue. You would pay your mobile provider for your data pipe and any incoming or outgoing calls use data and you don't pay for the calls per say. That's how I would do it anyway (as a stop gap until someone call call me on my email address)




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  Reply # 843932 25-Jun-2013 12:28
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I don't really see UFB happening any time soon. Where I live in CHCH this isn't much talk of it for the average person. The thing with CHCH is that the installs appear to be focusing on the city, but many people are now moving out to the rural areas and choosing to commute - but there is no UFB that I am aware off planned for the area 30m to 1hr commute from Christchurch.

Another thing, when talking about future technologies in R&D terms one can consider the three questions in order of priority - why, what and how. Years ago an inventor would spend most of their time working on the how, but in the 21st century 'how' is no longer relevant - its just a factor of time and effort. What this means, if you want to know the possible future of a technology don't use the current technology [how] as a baseline because it is akin to adding limiting constraints or blinkers.

Talking about VOIP and SIP which are now technologies is fine, but the discussion then would lend itself towards 'possible applications' of the technologies in the immediate future, rather than - what will telephony be like in the more distant future (there may be a set of new technologies [hows]).





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  Reply # 843936 25-Jun-2013 12:33
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When we moved to New Zealand in 1997 we used Net2phone to call our relatives back in Brazil, with video!

Who needs UFB? All done over dialup 56Kbps with a Connectix webcam, a Pentium 100 MHz box running Windows 95 and their proprietary protocol.

;-P





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  Reply # 843940 25-Jun-2013 12:41
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freitasm: When we moved to New Zealand in 1997 we used Net2phone to call our relatives back in Brazil, with video!

Who needs UFB? All done over dialup 56Kbps with a Connectix webcam, a Pentium 100 MHz box running Windows 95 and their proprietary protocol.

;-P



That's just it - it's not a technology problem as such.  There are hurdles there but the only reason they aren't solved is nobody has really applied themselves to solving them.  Problem is the status quo is both good enough for /accepted by the general public, and beneficial to those who've invested money into the technology.

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  Reply # 843956 25-Jun-2013 13:01
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freitasm: When we moved to New Zealand in 1997 we used Net2phone to call our relatives back in Brazil, with video!

Who needs UFB? All done over dialup 56Kbps with a Connectix webcam, a Pentium 100 MHz box running Windows 95 and their proprietary protocol.

;-P



with the extremely expensive calling back then i tried an internet phone thingy over dialup too.  it didn't work very well at all the delay was just too great, and that wasn't even doing video.

that said telephone was pretty hit and miss too.  the more clicks when connecting, the worse the connection.

now days international mobile can be pretty bad.  but international landline isn't too bad.



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  Reply # 843973 25-Jun-2013 13:16
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ubergeeknz: That's just it - it's not a technology problem as such.  There are hurdles there but the only reason they aren't solved is nobody has really applied themselves to solving them.  Problem is the status quo is both good enough for /accepted by the general public, and beneficial to those who've invested money into the technology.


I agree technology isn't (really) the problem.

The push however will be fibre going forward. You can't deliver POTS over fibre, so IP solutions start to become the default. And as IP has much more flexibility, it opens up many opportunities.




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  Reply # 843985 25-Jun-2013 13:29
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ajobbins: The push however will be fibre going forward. You can't deliver POTS over fibre, so IP solutions start to become the default. And as IP has much more flexibility, it opens up many opportunities.


Indeed.  Mind you, Telecom have so far held out on delivering voice over UFB, to the point where due to the government mandate that they must provide telephone service, they won't get copper pulled out to install fibre to your home.  So while it's a push in the right direction... it might not be enough on its own.

Across the ditch, once an area reaches a certain threshold of fibre take-up, Telstra must actually pull out the copper.  I wonder if we will enforce a similar mandate here as UFB picks up speed.  That copper must be worth a fortune, for starters...

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  Reply # 845620 26-Jun-2013 15:09
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That copper must be worth a fortune, for starters...


Perhaps, but remember it's encased in lead (which will have some value) and or plastic and paper which needs to be stripped off the wire before it has any real value. I know that a few years back the copper cable wasn't worth much as scrap until the paper and plastic had been removed.

I guess what I'm saying is it might cost more to recover than the copper is worth.




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  Reply # 845623 26-Jun-2013 15:19
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Technofreak: Perhaps, but remember it's encased in lead (which will have some value) and or plastic and paper which needs to be stripped off the wire before it has any real value. I know that a few years back the copper cable wasn't worth much as scrap until the paper and plastic had been removed.

I guess what I'm saying is it might cost more to recover than the copper is worth.


I'd say with enough demand for recycling it, processes can be refined to the point it's well worthwhile.  Anyway, it does drive the adoption of new technology.  There is also a lot of other kit that can be shut down and recycled.

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  Reply # 845651 26-Jun-2013 15:58
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ubergeeknz: 
I'd say with enough demand for recycling it, processes can be refined to the point it's well worthwhile.  Anyway, it does drive the adoption of new technology.  There is also a lot of other kit that can be shut down and recycled.


Quite true.

One of the problems is the likes of Telecom have a fair bit invested in POTS, there has to be some good incentives for them to go away from POTS.  Anything they do with the likes of fibre effectively competes with their other services.  

I see them as being between a rock and a hard place, they need to move with technology but need to protect their other investments. 80% of the cost of a telephone exchange is in the outside plant, well it used to be anyway.




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  Reply # 845652 26-Jun-2013 15:59
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Technofreak: One of the problems is the likes of Telecom have a fair bit invested in POTS, there has to be some good incentives for them to go away from POTS.  Anything they do with the likes of fibre effectively competes with their other services.  

I see them as being between a rock and a hard place, they need to move with technology but need to protect their other investments. 80% of the cost of a telephone exchange is in the outside plant, well it used to be anyway.


Hence my suggestion that a government mandate is needed to push things along :)



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  Reply # 845657 26-Jun-2013 16:23
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ubergeeknz:
Technofreak: One of the problems is the likes of Telecom have a fair bit invested in POTS, there has to be some good incentives for them to go away from POTS.  Anything they do with the likes of fibre effectively competes with their other services.  

I see them as being between a rock and a hard place, they need to move with technology but need to protect their other investments. 80% of the cost of a telephone exchange is in the outside plant, well it used to be anyway.


Hence my suggestion that a government mandate is needed to push things along :)


Perhaps, tho I think IP comms has and will continue to gain momentum on it's own. ISPs who are not Telecom realise they can use IP to delivery a POTS-like service to their customers at a lower price point. As these products grow, the number of NEAX users is decreasing, and shifting the cost burden of running and maintaining them only a smaller group of customers.

VoIP has had a bad name too. Many associated it with earlier days of unreliable service over slower networks. These days our networks are fast (both in terms of throughput and latency), and the technology is better (Eg. codecs that can deal with jitter and latency a lot better). VoIP these days can be widely delievered as a carrier grade service. As more people realise this is the case, demand will grow.

Many people are simply ditching fixed line telephony service altogether and simply going with a mobile. This is even more true here in Australia where mobile to mobile calls are typically very cheap, and people don't seem to have the resistance to calling someone on a mobile like they do in NZ. I think the history of high calling prices in NZ has created a culture of 'mobile calling is too expensive', even though these days this has changed a lot.

I expect we will see more unified comms solutions soon. Google is doing a lot of work around this. Why have a home phone number, a work number, a mobile number (In my case also a work mobile number), an email address, a video chat address, an IM address etc etc when it can all just be one.




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  Reply # 845681 26-Jun-2013 17:06
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ajobbins: Perhaps, tho I think IP comms has and will continue to gain momentum on it's own. ISPs who are not Telecom realise they can use IP to delivery a POTS-like service to their customers at a lower price point. As these products grow, the number of NEAX users is decreasing, and shifting the cost burden of running and maintaining them only a smaller group of customers.




Unfortunately, the stats don't show that this is happening very quickly at all.  The vast majority of lines purchased from other carriers are still resold Telecom lines on Telecom infrastructure.  And the total number of fixed lines has barely changed in the last 10 years; and has in fact increased.

Oh snap; forgot to attribute!  http://www.comcom.govt.nz/assets/Telecommunications/Market-Monitoring/2012-Annual-Telecommunications-Report-3-May-2013.pdf



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  Reply # 845690 26-Jun-2013 17:25
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ubergeeknz: Unfortunately, the stats don't show that this is happening very quickly at all.  The vast majority of lines purchased from other carriers are still resold Telecom lines on Telecom infrastructure.  And the total number of fixed lines has barely changed in the last 10 years; and has in fact increased.


I don't think it's going to happen overnight, but I think the momentum is starting to build. But if you look at total connections since 2009 - it's been static, while at the same thing the number of persons, and houses in NZ has undoubtedly increased.

What that table also shows is that unbundled and resold lines are increasing, which means people are shifting away from Telecom as a service provider. I suspect we will see more and more providers start to move those customer only IP services, or at lease IP-based POTS emulated services in the interim.

Still, IP telephony services are only starting to come into common use, and I suspect those fixed line numbers have no peaked. Orcon Genius is the only mass-market residential example I can think of, but I am sure others are not far away.

The other factor is availability and pricing of naked connections, and people's awareness of them. For a couple of years we used VoIP at home and had a dormant POTS line with Telecom, simply because I liked the broadband service from Xtra, and the price advantage of changing to another broadband provider with a naked connection was minimal.




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