Trust me, the VoIP ATA is dead

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Or so says, Charlie Giancarlo, head of Cisco’s Linksys division. “The phone adaptor is just at the beginning and I believe it’s just a transitional device. What we are going to see soon are hard IP phones as well as Wi-Fi phones. In the case of VoIP you bought a $60-$70 box to get a $25 a month service. It’s the same kind of thing. You don’t have the disadvantage of having to plug in your analog phone and be able to use it only in one room.” If that is so, just wondering why they bought Sipura? Surely not for their ATA expertise… right!

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Aswath Rao

I guess now there will be a chorus denouncing the ills of ATA, but your readers have heard it already. But the first part of the interview reveals some fundamental problem in their plans; probably the second part will provide clarifications to nullify this comment.

1. For me, the contribution of iPod is its user interface and user experience. ATAs do not even think about these. So using iPod sales figure as a benchmark is disappointing.
2. Thinking that “IP right to the handset” is going to allow us to do more is going to take us astray, just like ATAs did. It is enough to carry rich signaling information to the handset; networking technology is not critical. Which one would we prefer: ease of bridging on to a call as it is possible in cordless phones today or an IP enabled end-point and the associated complexity to realize the same application?

It is good that we are getting out of ATA induced constriction; but let use not jump into a technology that will not meet existing application requirements.

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