Tutorial: Connecting and leveraging VoIP islands

The creation of VoIP islands is prevalent among many VoIP networks and can hinder the benefits of VoIP. In this tutorial, you will learn what VoIP islands can do to a VoIP network and how to connect them, and you will examine a business case for bridging the islands.

VoIP or IP networks were not meant to exist on an island connected to the mainland via the PSTN. The beauty and benefit of an IP network over traditional PSTN networks is that it can bypass the complexity and limits of the PSTN and connect directly to other, more efficient and technically superior networks – IP networks. Yet so many organizations continue to create VoIP islands within their networks, hindering the benefits and value of a true peer-to-peer VoIP network.

Bringing together data, voice and multimedia services over an IP network from end to end translates to cost savings and improved quality, functions and network features. There are, however, challenges to skirting the PSTN altogether. In this series with expert Jon Arnold, you'll learn about the pitfalls of VoIP islands; the challenges associated with moving away from partial or total reliance on a PSTN; and ultimately how to get the most from your IP network.

About the author
Jon Arnold is Principal of J Arnold & Associates, an independent telecom analyst and marketing consultancy with a focus on IP communications. Previously, he was the VoIP Program Leader at Frost & Sullivan, where he was responsible for managing their subscription service for Global VoIP Equipment Markets. In March 2008, Jon -- along with fellow consultant Marc Robins -- launched IP Communications Insights, an industry portal designed to provide a broader voice for independent analysis and showcase their combined research, consulting and reporting services. In May 2008, Blogged.com ranked Jon's widely-read Analyst 2.0 Blog as #1 among all Telecom blogs, VoIP Now included his blog on their Top 100 Telecom blogs and in July 2008, Guy Kawasaki's Alltop portal included Jon's blog in their group of top VoIP blogs. Jon writes a bi-monthly column -- Service Provider Views -- for TMC, and is a Gerson Lehrman Group Leader, where his advice is regularly sought out by the finance and investment community. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Business Trends Quarterly.

This was first published in October 2009

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