Based on the technological advances and pricing models of VoIP telephony, traditional telephone dedicated line service will need to continue to evolve and show additional value to consumers in order to keep pace with VOIP development in the future.

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InterviewCliff Anderson, Microtune - VoIP

HomeToys Interview - VoIP Telephony
Cliff Anderson,  Microtune

Based on the technological advances and pricing models of VoIP telephony, traditional telephone dedicated line service will need to continue to evolve and show additional value to consumers in order to keep pace with VOIP development in the future.

Cliff Anderson is Marketing Manager for Microtune, Inc. www.microtune.com. Microtune, Inc. is a silicon and subsystems company that designs and markets radio frequency (RF)-based solutions for the worldwide broadband communications and transportation electronics markets.


1. What is VoIP telephony? What is VoIP cable telephony?

VOIP telephony is voice communication over internet protocol. It works by digitizing analog voice into data packets, sending the digital packets over the internet, and then reconverting the digital packets into analog voice at the destination. VOIP cable telephony is this process utilizing a cable operator's physical network. At the end-user's site an MTA (multimedia terminal adapter) is connected to a broadband cable modem. This MTA can be embedded inside the cable modem (e-MTA) or be a standalone device (S-MTA) connected to a standard cable modem. The MTA typically has two RJ-11 phone jacks which enable connection of standard analog telephones.

2. What does VoIP offer cable consumers? offer cable operators?

VOIP offers cable consumers a lower cost alternative to traditional telephone service. U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Michael Powell, has stated publicly that VOIP service should be very lightly economically regulated. Conversely, traditional telephone calls which start and end on the public switched telephone network (PSTN) are subject to access charges and regulations. VOIP offers cable operators an opportunity to generate additional revenue by offering voice service. It also allows them to also reduce subscriber churn, since VOIP completes a cable operator's triple-play service offering of voice, video, and data.

3. What are some of the technical issues in implementing VoIP cable telephony?

The technical issues of VOIP cable telephony are not difficult to overcome. Most of the reliability issues are the same as for a cable modem and therefore have already been addressed in the past. However, since a cable modem is inoperable during a power failure, batteries must be added to enable service during a power outage. Several modem vendors have already introduced modems with battery backup capability of 2-16 hours to satisfy this need.

4. Can VoIP operate over an 802.11b wireless network?

Yes, adapters are available to enable users to connect a VOIP phone anywhere in their home or business that has WI-FI coverage. They can even take the unit with them while traveling and connect the phone to a wireless hotspot.

5. Why is power such a critical issue for cable telephony modems?

Power is a critical factor since the modem is often supported by battery backup during power outages. The lower the power consumption, the longer the service is enabled.

6. What is the role of the tuner in cable telephony applications?

The role of the tuner is to receive all of the channels available on the network, but select (tune to) only the specific channel frequency of interest.

7. What solution is Microtune offering to cable equipment manufacturers, and by extension, cable operators and consumers?

The solution Microtune offers to manufacturers is highly reliable, superior performance dual-conversion silicon-germanium tuner technology. Microtune's RF architecture has been rigorously tested and proven in millions of DOCSIS-certified cable modems deployed to date.

8. What are the key features of the MT2060?

MT2060 features include: the highest level of performance of any silicon tuner available, power consumption of 1 Watt or less, small footprint, small external BOM (bill of materials), no externally active components, silicon construction enables technology convergence and product integration for next generation platform development.

9. How will the MT2060 help enable the market for cable telephony? for other classes of applications?

The MT2060 is optimal for the cable telephony market and similar applications for the above stated reasons.

10. Do you think VoIP telephony will be able to compete head on with traditional telephone companies and dedicated lines in the foreseeable future?

Based on the technological advances and pricing models of VoIP telephony, traditional telephone dedicated line service will need to continue to evolve and show additional value to consumers in order to keep pace with VOIP development in the future.


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