Distinguished Experts Panel: VoIP Management - Does the Emperor have any clothes on?

The rapid growth of VoIP is watched by traditional operators with some concern. In the past a major share of their income came from the POTS and the intriguing question is whether they will be able to keep these revenues now that the transition to VoIP is taking place. Compared to new competitors such as Skype, traditional operators have the advantage that they can manage the entire VoIP service, including the QoS of the underlying IP network. The question to be discussed in this Distinguished Experts Panel is whether this advantage is real, or an illusion. Will it be possible, or necessary, to guarantee 99.999% availability? Should QoS be managed at the network level, or is user perceived QoS primarily determined by the choice of (wideband) codec? Does good VoIP quality imply that the home network should be managed? In short: what are the management challenges of VoIP, or are there none?


Aiko Pras

Aiko Pras is an associate professor at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. His research interests include network management technologies, Web services, network measurements, and accounting. He has participated in many European and Dutch research projects, such as SURFnet6 RoN, M2C, WASP, and Internet NG. He currently is Research Leader in the European Network of Excellence on Next Generation Management (EMANICS). He has also contributed to research and standardization activities as a member of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) Network Management Research Group (NMRG). He has been TPC co-chair of several conferences, like IM 2005 and E2EMON, and serves as editor for the IEEE Communications Magazine series on Network and Service Management.


Randy Burke

Randy Burke is the Senior Director for Comcast's Voice Technical Operations. He is responsible for managing Comcast's voice elements (soft switches, gateways, voicemail, etc), acceptance testing, improving the infrastructure & interoperability, deploying switch capacity, end to end troubleshooting, and defining/implementing service centric monitoring. In addition to supporting Comcast's Digital Voice Operations, he also manages Technical Operations for the digital phone offer (GR303, NIU, HDT, 5ESS/DMS).

Alex Gelman

Alexander D. Gelman holds ME and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, from the City University of New York. Since 1998 Alex is the Chief Scientist at Panasonic Digital Networking Laboratory in Princeton, NJ and San Jose, California managing projects in consumer communications and networking. During 1984-1998 Alex was with Bellcore, lately as Director, Residential Internet Access Architectures Research. Some of most prominent projects in Bellcore were related to multimedia communications and DSL applications. In 1989 Alex pioneered the concept and the architecture of the Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexor (DSLAM). Alex consulted Bell Atlantic on early ADSL trial, architected Telia's DSL Multimedia, VOD, and Internet Access trial and the Telecom'95 World Wide Demo by TINA-C consortium. Alex holds some of the earliest DSL system patents, e.g. on xDSL-based Access Router. He has published in journals, conference proceedings and magazines, served as editor of magazines and journals, served on the Inaugural Steering Committee for IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, served on Organizing and program committees of several ComSoc conferences, initiated the IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC). Alex is a past Chair of the ComSoc Multimedia Technical Committee, served as ComSoc VP-Society Relations and VP-Membership Development. Presently Alex is ComSoc Director of Standards and serves on BoG of the IEEE Standards Association.

Magda Nassar, PhD

Magda is Director of VOIP Network and Service Planning Division in AT&T. She has responsibility for the design, development and implementation of multi-year development plans for VOIP network infrastructure and the establishment of the overall development for services over VoIP programs.

Magda has over 20 years of experience with AT&T in various roles of telecommunication systems engineering and network design. Magda Received her PhD in EE from Case Western Reserve University.

Amy Pendleton

Amy Pendleton is the Senior Advisor for Enterprise Network and Service Management for Nortel. She is responsible for setting strategic direction in infrastructure, application, and service management across Nortel's enterprise product portfolio, where her specific areas of focus are service performance management, provisioning/configuration, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and autonomic networking. Amy has contributed to a number of VoIP service quality management drafts in IETF.

Amy has 14 years of experience with Nortel in data communications, wireless architecture, and VoIP. Amy prides herself in being both an advisor and an implementor, which is becoming increasingly uncommon in large corporations today.

Henry Sinnreich

Henry Sinnreich is at present CTO at Pulver.Com where he works on upgrading the Pulver FWD Internet communication service. He was also a Distinguished Member of Engineering at MCI until April 2005, and contributed to the SIP based MCI Advantage flagship service design and worked on new features to extend the reach and appeal to customers of MCI Advantage. He has worked on Internet and web services since 1993 and has initiated multimedia and voice projects based on standards developed in the IETF, where he is an active contributor and author of several drafts. Henry is author of several books, such as "Internet Communications Using SIP" (2001) and "SIP Beyond VoIP" (2005). He is a founding member on the board of directors of the International SIP Forum based in Stockholm, Sweden, and received the award of Pioneer in Telephony at the June 2000 Voice On the NET conference, VON Europe 2000. Henry Sinnreich has been featured on the cover page of the VON Magazine as the 'Godfather of SIP'.