VoIP on the Trading Floor

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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VoIP on the Trading Floor

It may be a bit early for VoIP to be the primary communications medium on trading floors according to this article. This has been an interesting weekend in VoIP history as Vonage had problems with their network yesterday (an article from last summer on a Vonage outage) and today there are reports that Lingo may be having trouble with their service. Generally speaking when multiple service providers have network issues around the same time, you look to a common provider that both companies rely on as the culprit. That doesn't seem to be the case in this instance as Vonage blamed the outage on a software upgrade.

VoIP by its very nature is more complex than the PSTN and I'd venture to say that most VoIP service providers are less than 40 months old. Contrast this to the PSTN at around 100 years. It is not unexpected to have an outage or two and while I am not condoning it, new technologies always take time to get the bugs worked out of them.

Another issue is one of attitude and personalities. IP guys (used generically to refer to IT people) are just more cavalier than telecom guys (in this case I am not using it generically as I don't think there really are any telecom gals ;-). Telecom people use regression testing and play it safe. In the IP world we just haven't reached the same expectations and subsequently many IP networks aren't up to 5 nines level of service.

Still, VoIP in a controlled environment can be as good if not better than traditional digital telephony of today's PBXs. If there are any problems with the latest crop of corporate IP PBXs I have yet to hear of it. More interesting is the levels of redundancy that IP allows. In the near future there will be redundancy built into many IP PBXs making them an obviously better choice for the most demanding of applications such as trading floors.

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