Home > Articles > Networking

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book


Now, let's bring together what we know about networks and devices into a single network or single device. This is the idea behind telecommunications convergence. New networks carrying voice, video, and data over IP are beginning to emerge. The transition to a converged network will not be easy and will take many years before a full implementation is completed.

You may ask: Why do we need to converge in the first place? Well, a single network managing all telecommunications needs would be a cost-effective solution as we develop for the future. There are some new considerations like quality of service, lack of features and priority issues, but in general, a converged network using TCP/IP is a good idea.

Both H.323 and Session Initiation Protocol are used today for voice over IP (VOIP) solutions (Figure 10.7). We'll look at the similarities and differences of each of these protocols.

Figure 10.7 Figure 10.7 VOIP solution.

We'll also look at IPV6 and the ramifications of a completely networked environment for the future. Finally, we'll look at some converged devices that are gaining in popularity, specifically, a cellular phone that has audio and video capabilities and a personal digital assistant that functions as a PC and more.


H.323 is the voice over IP (VOIP) standard that has been recommended by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). This recommendation provides the technical requirements for voice communications over data networks without any quality of service (QOS) provisions. The standard provides for both point-to-point and multipoint conferencing specifications. Calling features commonly associated with the PSTN (call forwarding and call waiting, for example) are not included with this specification.

The most common use of H.323 is for voice conversation with the Internet as its transmission path. PCs are equipped with microphones, speakers, and the appropriate software to run H.323 with a web browser. The voice quality associated with these calls is usually low, however. The cost for domestic voice services is usually free.

H.323 certainly has its limitations; however, newer VOIP protocols are emerging with even more features and enhancements.

Session Initiation Protocol

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the future of voice telecommunications. Both H.323 and SIP are considered voice over IP (VOIP) solutions. SIP uses a single address for all necessary telecommunications. Computer, telephone, wireless telephone, and personal digital assistant (PDA) can all be used with SIP. SIP can also provide instant messaging, video conferencing, and gaming accessible as a group function.

SIP is a relatively new protocol that determines how voice and data are transported across data networks. It is designed to be integrated with IP services such as video, email, and the Internet, bringing all telecommunications services into one common, integrated platform.

A SIP telephone is sometimes referred to as an Ethernet telephone since the telephone connection is made to an Ethernet jack on a LAN. Each SIP telephone has a TCP/IP address, so you can change telephone device preferences.

Besides network connectivity, a SIP telephone is somewhat different from a traditional telephone. First of all, you must log in to the SIP telephone device much like you would log in for a networked PC desktop device. This login tells the SIP server that you are now available at the telephone you just logged in to. This provides security benefits and allows access to your telephone only to authorized users.

Other features such as call filtering can be used. For example, if you are in a special meeting, you can program your SIP phone to ring only when the call is from your manager. Another new feature is call presence. With call presence you can determine who is logged in on the network and available for voice/data calls. With this information, you can create an audio or video conference among your coworkers.

We already know that SIP services packetize voice for data transmission. If the local network is already heavily congested however, quality of service (QOS) issues may be a major factor. IP networks must be optimized to carry "real time" voice and data together, with minimal delay and errors.

Development of SIP and SIP telephone networks is still in its infancy. Much more study and SIP system implementation is needed before this technology can become a mainstream product. The cost for SIP equipment is still quite high. Cost savings will come from the elimination of PBXs, dedicated lines, and the administrative costs associated with traditional voice networks. Many companies are still reluctant to remove proven PSTN and PBX technologies and replace them with SIP technology. It is anticipated that both technologies will need to coexist for many years to come.

IPV6 and Future Applications

IPV6 is short for "Internet Protocol Version 6," which is a future generation protocol designed to replace the current standard IPV4. Today's IPV4 Internet is almost 20 years old and is having problems. The most serious problem is the growing shortage of IPV4 addresses needed to access the Internet.

IPV6 fixes the address shortage problem and adds many significant improvements to the protocol in areas such as automated network configuration and enhanced routing. With IPV6, some of the IPV4 header information was dropped, creating a simplified packet structure. The 16-byte, 128-bit IPV6 addresses are four times longer than the 4-byte IPV4 addresses. IPV6 is expected to eventually replace IPV4, with the two running together for several years during this transition phase.

One of the most intriguing ideas behind IPV6 is the prospect of assigning IP addresses to virtually everything. Yes. I mean everything! Devices, people, pets, appliances, machines...

People. An extremely small transmitting device can be implanted under your skin. This device would contain your IP address, enabling you to access certain rooms and office buildings without swiping a magnetic card or showing an ID. The IP address could also contain links to information regarding your medical history or financial status.

Pets. An extremely small transmitting device can be implanted under an animal's skin. This device would also contain an IP address for your pet. If the animal is lost, links to information regarding ownership and veterinary history can be obtained.

Appliances. An appliance would contain an IP address with a wired or wireless connection to a local area network in your home. If you are having trouble with the appliance, you would call a service technician who would then diagnose the appliance problem directly over the Internet. The diagnostic would determine whether the entire unit would need replacement or whether certain parts could be fixed and what the labor costs would be. This would all be done without a technician's visit.

Machines. An intelligent soda machine would contain an IP address with a wired or wireless connection to a local area network in an office complex. The intelligent soda machine would be connected to the Internet, and the price of the soda would be determined by answers to the following questions:

  • Is the weather hot or cold? In hotter weather, the price of soda would be higher. In colder weather, the price would be lower.

  • What is the current inventory of soda in the machine? A fully loaded soda machine would charge less for soda than an empty soda machine.

  • When is the next soda delivery date? If soda is to be delivered tomorrow, the price may be lower than if soda is to be delivered next week. An Internet link to the warehouse can determine delivery dates.

  • What is the current value of stock for the soda company? A higher value of stock may reflect a higher price for the can of soda. An Internet link to a stock ticker can be used to determine a company's value.

  • What are the age and the maintenance requirements for the soda machine? A new soda machine may cost more, raising the price for the can of soda. An older soda machine may require maintenance, which could also be reflected in a higher price for a can of soda.

Personal Digital Assistant

Shrink a laptop computer to the size of a large calculator and you have a personal digital assistant (PDA). PDAs have become quite prevalent in business applications. PDAs use the Windows CE operating system or the Palm OS (Figure 10.8).

Figure 10.8 Figure 10.8 Personal digital assistant.

Whichever device and operating system is chosen, PDAs have a portability advantage over traditional PCs and laptops. Software exclusively written for PDAs can be similar to software written for PCs. Wireless connectivity can be used to access the Internet or email, and a serial connection can be used to access a traditional PC or laptop.

With devices such as hard drives and memory growing smaller and smaller, it is expected that PDAs will eventually become predominant in the computing industry.

As with any important device as small as a PDA, special security considerations should be taken to safeguard data and passwords.

Mobile Multimedia Phone

The idea of one device for telecommunications voice, data, and video is not new. However, technology has increased so rapidly within the last few years that these concepts are beginning to become a reality.

Many cellular telephones in use today have limited access to the Internet with a micro-browser. Mini-browsers display data such as weather, news, sports, etc. However, today's Internet browsing features are usually very limited.

The widespread acceptance of cellular telephone technology is mainly due to its portability. Voice telecommunications anywhere at any time is truly appealing to both consumers and businesses alike. What about other telecommunications technologies besides voice? Wouldn't it be great to have a converged cellular device that could perform voice video and data services? Let's imagine some of the possibilities:

  • Video-conferencing with your coworkers at a bus stop.

  • Watching streaming video of a newscast before boarding a commuter train.

  • Sending images of a family vacation instantly.

  • Receiving MP3 audio of the latest popular music.

  • Checking your browser to find the closest fast-food restaurant.

The development of a converged cellular multimedia device will not happen all at once. Networks must be developed and retooled, and the appropriate bandwidth must be obtained. Most likely, a gradual conversion from the cellular voice networks of the present to the cellular multimedia networks of the future will happen during the next five years or more.

With a mobile multimedia phone, real-time voice, video, and data will be available to support the desire for any time, any place telecommunications (Figure 10.9).

Figure 10.9 Figure 10.9 Mobile multimedia phone.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020