Get Your Data Network Ready for Voice
By Jay R. Brandstadter, Delphi, Inc.
Published 2003, Posted August 2003




Despite the economic blues and distress in the telecom industry, interest in IP–based enterprise phone systems (IP-PBXs) is expanding rapidly. Although there is reason to question whether the complex array of voice over IP (VoIP) technologies and products is fully ready and whether these technologies and products offer a compelling value proposition for the user community, all PBX vendors are now delivering VoIP or IP telephony systems. Many users in higher education are doing trials, network analysis, or operational deployments—and many more are trying to decide whether and how VoIP can benefit their institution.


However, the fact that IP networks can carry voice doesn’t mean that all IP networks will do it with acceptable reliability and quality. Many VoIP installations fail—or run up large unbudgeted expenses—because the LAN, WAN, or both are unable to handle voice  successfully due to needed infrastructure and other changes. Customers often overlook, and vendors often downplay, the need to ensure that the data network is up to the challenge of voice.


If your institution is considering VoIP, you must know whether your data networks are voice-ready. If the proposed installation will compromise call quality, it’s essential to know that in advance—so you can decide either that reduced quality is acceptable for your application or that you need and can afford an upgrade.


About the Author:


Jay R. Brandstadter joined Delphi in February 2002 from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) where, as Assistant Vice President, he was responsible for Convergence/Voice over IP programs for the Department of Defense and other clients. He has participated in leading-edge telecommunications projects since starting with Bell Labs in first-generation electronic switching systems. Prior to SAIC, Mr. Brandstadter was with the Federal government for 10 years. Earlier at Northern Telecom he was in product management for distributed computer systems, integrated voice/data terminals, and ISDN services. He was one of the founders of the North American ISDN Users Forum and in 1999 he founded the Washington Area Voice over Data Users Group. Mr. Brandstadter is a graduate of Columbia University.



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Republished with the permission of the ACUTA Journal of Communications Technology in Higher Education, Volume 7 Number 1. ACUTA Website


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