Addressing International VoIP Challenges
January 20, 2011 by iCall Team Member
Recently there have been a few rumblings around the industry about China blocking VoIP services. A notice posted in December by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) read, "Currently, our ministry is working with relevant departments on launching an effort to strike against illegal VoIP services, and we are collecting clues from the public about illegal VoIP cases."
The notice sent waves of confusion and alarm through the VoIP industry. While MIIT did not indicate by name any companies it sees as "illegal services," follow up coverage has pointed toward small domestic VoIP operations that offer services outside of the three state sponsored telecom companies China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.
It does not appear that any major VoIP companies will be kept out of China, yet the story did create a few days of furor in the industry and got us thinking. iCall has more than 500,000 customers located in China that are currently enjoying our VoIP offerings. While we certainly do not condone any illegal activities on the part of VoIP operators, this discussion has renewed our passion for open communications around the world.
Individuals around the world should be free to speak to whomever they want on whatever service they want. We believe in using open standards in VoIP-meaning VoIP solutions should share common protocols and allow users to communicate with each other without having to be using the same service provider. For example, at iCall, we believe that you should be able to use the iCall service to speak to you mother on another service. Right now the industry does not require open standards, so you'll often find that you cannot communicate with other VoIP users if you are not part of their closed system. The result is a literal blocking of communication. And in case you needed more convincing that open standards are the right direction for the industry, open VoIP standards mean that as an industry, we can lower the cost of usage for consumers because our developers work off of existing standards instead of creating and updating proprietary protocols. Who wouldn't want to pay less for their phone calls?