Business Implications of VoIP

Identifying the Winners and Losers

Of Voice Over Internet Protocol

Room 107L Warren Hall

Columbia University

Amsterdam Avenue at 115th Street

New York, NY

Voice over Internet
Protocol (or VoIP) is the "hot issue" in
telecommunications today because it holds the
prospect of using broadband connections to the
Internet for low cost, highly featured substitutes
for traditional telephone services. Such substitution,
if widely and rapidly practiced, could have a
significant impact on the traditional telephone
companies, cable TV companies, independent providers
of VoIP services and their suppliers. Some have
suggested that VoIP might be the "killer
app" that drives the deployment of broadband
connections to most homes and business and, as
such, ignite a new "hi-tech" boom.
Others have suggested that VoIP might be a "killer
app" in the sense that it will undermine
the traditional telephone industry.

CITI's workshop will
assess the business prospects and impacts of VoIP.
(Following the CITI workshop, the Telecommunications
Committee of the Bar Association of the City of
New York will hold a companion program on the legal
and regulatory implications of VoIP from 6:00 -
8:00pm at the Bar Association's facility on West
44th Street.)

1. How Does VoIP Work? A short scene-setting tutorial.

2. VoIP Technology: How mature is the technology and what are expectations for future developments and improvements?

3. VoIP Costs: How
do VoIP costs (capex, opex) compare with costs
for providing conventional telephone service? What
are the "costs" of a Vonage-type of
service (where the customer rather than the service
pays for use of the Internet)? What are the "costs"
of circuit-switched telephone service (where, presumably,
the service provider has infrastructure costs…but
sunk costs)?

4. VoIP Performance, Features and Quality: How does VoIP compare with conventional telephone service from a user's perception?

5. What Can VoIP Do That POTS Can't? Is POTS technically capable of matching VoIP (IP Telephony) features and functions? If so, is it cost-prohibitive to do so?

6. Who Has the Best Infrastructure for VoIP?: Is any infrastructure platform (telco, cable, wireless, satellite) particularly "better" or "worse" as the VoIP infrastructure for "mass market" numbers of customers? Are telcos or cable companies therefore inherently advantaged or disadvantaged by their infrastructures if VoIP becomes a "big" application.

7. How Will
VoIP Impact Traditional "Telcos"?
: Is
VoIP a revolution that is a mortal threat to
conventional telephone companies... or is it
just the latest evolution in the provisioning
of telephone service that will be seamlessly
incorporated into telco systems? How will "VoIP
over WiFi" (or WiMax) affect cellular
telephone service providers?

8. Can Any Service Provider Actually Make Money with VoIP? If capital and technology barriers to entry are very low (are they?), and if some service providers' are willing to "give away" telephone service as part of a strategic bundle of services or to preserve market share (will they?), can anyone make money with VoIP (or any "telephone" service) for a sustained period? Is there any pricing power in VoIP? Where?

9. Is VoIP Global?: Can U.S. telecom companies "go global" with VoIP? Can foreign telecom companies operate in the U.S. with VoIP? Even if they could, is there a business case for doing so? Will U.S. companies have a competitive advantage in the global market?

10. Long-term,
Will VoIP Encourage a Highly Competitive, Entrepreneurial
Market for "Telephone" Service?
a Will "Telephone" Service Be Dominated
by a Few Big Players? This is a key factor for regulatory
policy: will someone exert enough "market power"

to justify some sort of regulation?

11. Will "Telephone"
Service Simply Become an Internet "Application"
and Cease Being a Distinct Service?
so, will there be distinct revenues and expenses
associated with the application?

12. Will VoIP
influence who be the ultimate "winners" and "losers"
among consumers, investors, equipment suppliers
and service
Who are those winners and losers
likely to be?

Speakers will include:


Dr. Henning Schulzrinne Professor, Columbia Engineering School

Jeffery Citron Chairman & CEO, Vonage Holdings Inc.

Dr. Robert Pepper Chief, Policy Development, FCC

Prof. Jim Alleman University of Colorado and CITI

Prof. Paul Rappoport Temple University and CITI

Jay Rolls VP, Telephone & Data Engineering, Cox

Michael Frendo VP, Voice Systems Engineering, Cisco

James Allen Principal Consultant, Analysys Consulting

Jeff Pulver

Kevin Werbach Supernova Group

Michael Sisselman  MES Global, LLC

Raul Martynek President & CEO, Eureka Networks

Stagg Newman Senior Practice Expert, McKinsey & Company

Frank Governali Goldman Sachs

Lawson Hunter Executive VP, Bell Canada Enterprises

Glen Campbell Merrill Lynch

Clayton Lockhart VP, Global Network Planning, AT&T Labs

Yves Gassot CEO, IDATE (France

Noted VoIP experts from the FCC, industry and academia will be speaking on panels dealing with the issues outlined above. Registration for the CITI event is now closed. Please contact Ben Bloom at or 212-854-4222 for special registration arrangements, including members of the press.


9:00 - Welcoming Remarks

9:15 - VoIP Technology and Capabilities: Now and the Near Future

10:30 - Break

10:45 - VoIP vs POTs: Which Has a Fundamental Advantage?

11:45 - VoIP Service Outside US

  • Lawson Hunter - Bell
  • Yves Gassot - IDATE
    (France) [presentation]

12:30 - Lunch

  • Robert Pepper - FCC

1:30 - Sizing VoIP Market Demand

1:45 - VoIP Service in US

3:00 - Financial Impact of VoIP

4:15 - Wrap Up


6:00 - Reconvene at the Bar Association of the City of New York, 42 W 44th St.

The Future
of Voice over the Internet: The Legal and Regulatory

Keynote Speaker:  Sen. John Sununu (R-NH)

Panel Discussion:

  • Jeffrey Citron - Chairman & CEO, Vonage, Inc.
  • Joe Waz  - Comcast Corp.
  • Glenn Richards - Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Robert Pepper -  Federal Communications Commission
  • Robert Quinn - AT&T
  • Hon. Jeanne M. Fox - President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • John Friedman (Moderator), Hofstra Law School


CITI Workshop:

The basic registration fee is $75 . Please register online. CITI affiliates, non-profits, academics and students should contact Ben Bloom at 212-854-4222 to inquire about special registration arrangements.

For additional details please see CITI's web site at

Bar Association evening seminar:

No fee or pre-registration