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Johanne Torres[October 5, 2004]

VoIP opportunities in the Military session


As we approached the end of the first day of sessions at the Internet Telephony Conference and EXPO, I decided to stop by and listen in on a discussion about the presence of VoIP in military U.S. agencies. Security, cost savings, and standardization were among the main topics attendees and panelists discussed in this very interesting session.

Session moderator, Rich Tehrani kicked off the session by reading an excerpt of an article from Business Week, which discussed the adoption of VoIP. Panelists discussed a consortium formed by three military agencies, their quest—to reach an agreement to adopt universal standardization.

According to the speakers, the most important benefit of adoption VoIP in a military environment is being able to free themselves from significant amounts of space and weight taken by legacy telephonic communications. It seems the switch over to VoIP communications will create extra space to transport vigilance equipment, weapons and ammunitions, and all other necessary extra equipment they could not toggle along because of the lack of space in their transport.

Scott Hoffman, Business Director / US Federal, Sphere Communications and Kieth Weiner, CEO, DiamondWare, Ltd; agreed that the military will benefit with the availability of WiFi networks, enabling them to carry around portable devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other communications device powered by VoIP connectivity.

But, are military networks up to the challenge and able to handle the convergence of VoIP? Hoffman says that “local commanders have to manually handle commercial open standard adoption.” Qovia’s Pierce Reid says “Everyone is worried that VoIP is not ready for primetime, but the truth is that military networks are indeed capable of converging VoIP into their communications if they put some work into them, making them able to be managed securely.”

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Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at

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