Monday, March 28, 2005

Everyone Fear Non-Existent Wireless VoIP

'You can't really go a month in the wireless world without hearing of the next big "threat" to some wireless technology. This month it's wireless VoIP that's going to take down just about everything else in the wireless space. That might be a tad optimistic.

There's just something about vaporware that makes people assume it's going to be a whole lot more than it actually will be. That's why there are always predictions about some non-existent technology "killing off" some very much existing technology. While it's a nice thought, it's usually not that easy. An existing technology isn't always easy to knock off its pedestal, and the ecosystem of support that it's built up tends to fight back against obsolescence. Furthermore, most of the technologies that are supposed to be "dead" have time to adjust before the new technology actually shows up. Meanwhile, the new technology actually has to come to market and work -- a challenge in its own way.

However, the latest such technology that's getting all the hype is "wireless VoIP" which seems to be a slight extension on the earlier concept of VoIP over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi). With wireless VoIP, that wireless connection can be anything from Wi-Fi to WiMAX (when that exists, too) to 3G technologies and plenty of others in between. However, the list of what wireless VoIP is suddenly expected to kill keeps getting longer. First, it's going to destroy 3G offerings. Then, apparently, wireless VoIP will move on to kill Bluetooth, which appears to be quite the apples vs. oranges comparison. Still, it's only fitting for Bluetooth, which is a technology that appears to have become the Kenny from South Park of the wireless industry -- killed every week, only to reappear looking healthy the following week.'
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