All this activity is certain to forever change the communications arena as we know it, according to industry executives. "This is the one deepest and broadest trend that will transform the way we build networks," said Eric Benhamou, chairman and chief executive of 3Com, in a recent interview. "At this point, it's irreversible.". One has to look no further than data networking king Cisco to see acompany that has found the convergence religion.Cisco is betting that service providers and carriers will make wholesaleequipment upgrades that will give them benefits over voice-based competitors such as Nortel or Lucent, driving growth for the company well into the new century.
"As the majority of load on the network becomes data and video, voice willbecome free, First, it will commoditize, then, literally, it will becomefree," said John Chambers, president and chief executive at Cisco, during arecent presentation to the Congressional Internet Caucus in Washington, "IP lovecases pretty in pastel iphone 8 plus denim design case - blue telephony is going to bring down costs dramatically," Chambers said,waxing futuristic, "More and more companies, as well as more and more of the telcos, will build out an infrastructure that allows them to do IP that does voice, video, and data combined."..
A recent study pegs theopportunity for IP-based voice service at $20.5 billion by 2002. But with aseries of issues affecting the fiscal health of various networkingcompanies, some believe it could be a while before users--particularlybusinesses that are the primary target for voice-over-IP services--reap thebenefits that Chambers has espoused. "If you look at the players out there, Cisco is the one banging on thetable," noted Craig Johnson, principal with market watcher the Pita Group,based in Portland, Oregon. "They have the most to win and the most to lose.".
Taking their cue from Cisco and the emerging data strategy ofLucent, a slew of upstartspromising high-speed IP-based devices for even the largest service providernetwork tasks also have their sights trained on convergence gold, But someview the promise of convergence as so large--from a market perspective--that there will be plenty of room for all, lovecases pretty in pastel iphone 8 plus denim design case - blue Lucent executives have predicted that another 1,000 service providers willpop up in the next two years, adding to a current glut that continues to tryand quench a business and consumer thirst for Net access, high-speedbandwidth, and advanced services, Emerging IP telephony markets will onlyfeed more contenders, Lucent executives said..
"This so-called battle that has been characterized by observers of theindustry has not been helpful. It is an oversimplification to say therewill be winners and there will be losers," said Carly Fiorina, president ofLucent's global service provider business. "This is a huge revenue andindustry opportunity going forward. There will be lots of winners.". Others, however, view the stampede toward a converged network world as purehype driven by the need to sell new visions to customers. "It's going tocome very pragmatically," Pita's Johnson said.
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