Introduction (VoIP Deployment)

It was February 2003 when my boss told me that I was going to be turning up a new VoIP soft switch. This was the first time I had ever heard of a soft switch, and about the second time I had heard of the term VoIP. There was a loose association of companies, hardware vendors, software guys, programmers, salesmen, and support staff that had to be wrangled together to make it happen. At the same time, I was also scheduled to take a vacation to The Netherlands and had planned a ten-day trek of museums, flea markets, and antiques shops. I never made it to Europe, but I did bring up an array of Asterisk servers.
That was my own personal trial by fire with VoIP. I researched the technology as much as I could, but there wasn’t anything available to provide a basic understanding of the technology. I dug in to it, but as much as I tried, I couldn’t find anything to tell me how VoIP was structured, or the basis of how it worked. The technicians I queried for information were all very tight-lipped and wanted to charge me $125 an hour to reveal the inner-workings of this new, cutting-edge technology.
Eventually I learned the nuts and bolts of VoIP. I spent a few years migrating phone numbers and troubleshooting inbound VoIP service, before we rolled out the outbound service years later. I watched as customer perceptions of VoIP changed from fear or apprehension to acceptance and aspiration.
This topic is everything I wished that someone would have told me back when I was tasked with pushing through that first Inter Operability test. It is the basis for my confidence in VoIP’s ability to transform the telecom industry, and the reasons why it works.

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