John Kern and I met up last weekend to talk about some of the overall ideas that keep popping up in terms of mobile and how to help folks (ourselves included) navigate some of the upcoming issues. The open source thing, that I’ve been tracking for a long time. A long long time. And it’s still a long time in coming because it means a real overhaul of some tried and true processes. The network convergence part though, and the continued proliferation of VOIP stuff, there’s some stuff in there that I didn’t expect to happen quite the way it’s been rolling out.
VOIP isn’t new. For years and years we’ve been hearing about pouring voice traffic into IP packets and the wonders that abound when a thing like that happens. Most of the wonder has been constrained to purchasing relatively pricey IP based PBXs instead of telecom card laden PBXs, and besides that nothing really happened. And I was all set for nothing to keep happening for years to come. Then one day suddenly everything changed, and these normal people were talking about being able to make phonecalls from wifi hotspots. They were actually using IP based voice applications for something besides the usages that equipment vendors had dreamed up for them.
That part of the equation is going to provide for some interesting activity, a bumpy ride I’m sure, and probably plenty of blood sweat and legal attrocities. I’m going to be paying attention to the open source stuff, and tackling anyone vaguely associated with Qtopia and torturing them until they promise to get me a Greenphone. But I expect the UMA and VOIP and SIP and associated battles are going to steal the public stage for a while.