Saturday, August 12, 2006

Andy Abramson on Mobile VoIP

Well, I haven't quite left for vacation yet. Am catching up on last week's emails before we go, and I just got wind of this clip. So, here's a bonus blog post for your viewing pleasure.

If anyone knows about mobile VoIP it's Andy Abramson, and he does a great job talking about its potential during this TV segment for Oakland-based KTVU TV.

Nicely done interview, and Andy gets to show off all his gadgets, including the fabulous Nokia N90, which is always by my side these days.

As a sidebar, the interview inadvertently picked up on one of the realities of mobile VoIP today - it's not that easy to use. Andy had a dual mode Nokia E61 in his arsenal, but couldn't use it in the hotel where the interview took place. As with most hotspots, you have to pay to use it, which is not something everyone is going to be in a rush to do just to make a WiFi phone call.

The vast majority of hotspot WiFi usage is for data - checking email, surfing the Net, etc. Voice is a relatively new feature, so even though this story was a feel-good feature about mobile VoIP, the infrastructure and business models aren't quite there yet - even though we've got dual mode handset out there now.

The wireless carriers want to keep those calls off-net and on their billable cellular network for as long as possible. I'm afraid all carriers are cut from the same cloth. It's the same rationale that RBOCs have in taking their time bringing VoIP to market - it just cannibalizes their TDM traffic, so they're going to hang on as long as they possibly can.

Hat tip to Alec Saunders as well, who added his thoughts earlier today.


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2 comments:

ipcom said...

Posted by: Andy Abramson

John,

The problem with the E61 was the Nokia Browser would crash when the T-Mobile Java Script probe would sense it was being opened to log on.

I also couldn't use it in my hotel room on my own router due to port blocking/NAT Traversal issues.

ipcom said...

Posted by: Andy Abramson

John,

Today from Wildflower Bread Company in Scottsdale I called Om Malik and my mom using the E61. Wildflower has an open hotspot, so one I changed the Access Point I was able to authenticate with SIPPhone and call away.

Andy