Dana Blankenhorn writes that within five years, there will be no such thing as a phone network anymore.
There will only be data. Voice is a low-grade data service. Every service provided by the voice network can be emulated through software.
Clue one. AT&T has stopped marketing long distance voice.
Clue two. Skype now serves regular phones through agreements with four backhaul carriers.
Out of such Clues are grand predictions made.
With voice pushed onto the Internet the bandwidth devoted on phone lines to voice can be put to better use, increasing local bandwidth to 8 mbps or more. This is absolutely necessary if the phone carriers are to compete against the current onslaught of cable modem and coming onslaught of Wireless ISP competition.