The International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC) will host a three-session conference track here, covering a myriad of topics surrounding VoIP. Topics will include FCC regulation, how to confront deployment obstacles, service-delivery success stories, vendor solutions, technical challenges, quality of service and SLAs. Speakers will include service providers, carriers, integrators, vendors and regulatory personnel. The goal of the multi-faceted approach, says Michael Khalilian, IPCC chairman and president, is to cover as many sides of packet voice communications implementation as is necessary for service providers to gain a realistic perspective on deploying the technology.
"There are good stories and plans, but it’s not getting out to the service providers, so as a result everyone is very conservative about deploying packet," says Khalilian. "The panelists will talk about what they’ve done so far to tackle real issues. Everyone knows this is the next generation, and it’s not a question of whether to transition, but rather how fast. So we will cover convergence today and in the past, and the realistic facts of implementation and experiences. We’re sending the message that there are challenges, but there are also solutions."
The VoIP Opportunities track, which will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 9, will focus on the next-generation network, as well as enterprise applications and enhanced services, such as IP Centrex. The VoIP Challenges track, which will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, will touch on the applications and services in the local cable and RBOC residential markets, as well as from the IXC perspective, and will cover voice over cable, CLASS 4 and CLASS 5 service delivery using VoIP.
Within these parameters, the sessions will illustrate the steps carriers and vendors are taking to address real-world business and implementation issues, such as integrating new services with legacy systems, interoperability of various platforms to bundle services, and management of network elements to deliver a seamless service.
"It’s one thing to talk about the network, but it’s also important to service providers to hear how they can make money. I have to map it to service delivery in both," says Khalilian. "But someone that comes to both sessions will not see a repeat of topics."
The third session in the series is the VoIP Regulatory Issues track, to be held from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on Feb. 10. This installment will cover recent debates over VoIP and packet communications in general, including whether VoIP should be classified as a telecom service or an information service and CALEA. The panel also will discuss local, long-distance, RBOC and ISP-related issues.
In developing these tracks, the IPCC drew heavily on its service provider board and vendor members to determine topics that are of importance to carriers and service providers, in particular.
"There are some strong synergies between our two organizations," says H. Russell Frisby Jr., CEO of the CompTel/ASCENT Alliance. "The IPCC is an independent, vendor-neutral technology expert that shares the CompTel/ASCENT mission of helping carriers of all types to offer advanced services that will improve their ROI and profitability. VoIP is living up to its promise, as many of our members launch new products and services aimed at enterprise and end-user customers and others make plans to do so."
The speakers will address how to confront the challenges presented by convergence and VoIP. Khalilian and other IPCC executive board members will lead the interactive sessions, starting by posing a few direct questions of the panel. Those segments will be followed by short presentations and audience question and answer periods.
Participants include: Level 3 Communications, Focal Communications, Convedia, Volo Communications, Tekelec, IBM Global Services, Sonus and Lucent Technologies Inc.
"Packet is a decision service providers have made," says Khalilian. "But they want to know how to go about it and how to solve the challenges. So these presentations will be from their perspective."