2006 - Is This THE Year For IP?

I started covering VoIP in 2001, and would have to say that as new years go, 2006 holds the most promise and anticipation for IP communications of any I've seen. However, bigger is not always better, that's for sure. It was unthinkable 2 years ago for AT&T to be taken out of the market - by one of its offspring no less. There was no bigger name in telecom, and it didn't take much for that deal to happen.

In a lame way, that's what's happening with the movie King Kong. It's a big movie about a big subject, but that's no guarantee of success. I always thought it was a bad idea to re-make this yet again, and it looks like I'm not alone. I mention King Kong because there's a great parallel there with the state of Hollywood movies these days. The industry is in trouble, and when the special effects guys can't save the day, there's really nothing left to bring back the audiences.

For the most part this is just about crappy product, and people are getting tired of seeing re-makes, sequels and movies based on TV shows and cartoon characters. I stopped going years ago, but will gladly go out of my way to see a real movie, but they don't show those much anymore in the megaplexes. Rant over. I care too much about cinema to be quiet - I've spoken, now let's move on. Anyone who cares to take this offline is welcome!

What I meant to say was... what IP did to telephony in 2005, is starting to happen now in the broadcast industry. This is not news, but since I feel guilty for not putting together a "year in review" post, or a "fearless predictions for 2006" post, I should at least say as much. Running parallel to this is Web 2.0 and the idea that Internet-based platforms - thanks in large part to IP - are ready now to give software a good run for its money. Skype and Vonage were the big names in 2005 - this year it will be Google and Yahoo. Maybe even eBay. And by association, Microsoft.

Bottom line - the IP convergence trend continues unabated, and the net gets cast wider day by day. No doubt the gold rush element will continue as well, now that everyone is looking for the next Skype. So, money will really help drive the market, it should be a great year for the bankers and VCs. At this point, I'd have to say that only unforeseen circumstances will derail this momentum - such as some heavy-handed regulation, or some serious network failures or security breaches. Anything is possible, of course, but on the whole IP looks ready to deliver on a lot of its promise in 2006.

Quick sidebar - I was off most of last week, and will get back to blogging this week. I'm not a 24/7 newsmachine, but see a lot of interesting things coming that will make for good posting in the weeks ahead.

I'm still enjoying my Nokia N90 - more as a camera/recorder than as a phone - and expect to start posting to the Nokia blog this week. Until then, here are a few N90 photos of our trip last week to Montreal...

Windsor Train Station - classic architecture, which I love. LOTS of this in Montreal...


Notre Dame Cathedral - arguably the most beautiful and spectacular edifice in North America. Has to be seen to feel its grandeur. The Nokia doesn't quite do it justice (didn't help to have a very overcast sky), but here are some shots of the incredible pipe organ at the back of the cathedral, and the awe inspiring front.



OK, let's take it down a notch or two, but something closer to my soul, the Main - the classic Jewish neighborhood that spawned Duddy Kravitz and countless others. First is Schwartz's deli - nobody does smoked meat better. Period.

And, as it turns out, this was the only lineup we saw anywhere in Montreal the whole time. For a lineup like this at 2:30 in the afternoon mid-week, you know it must be good.... either that, or maybe they have terrific free WiFi to draw them in...nahh. Travel tip - Montrealers don't get their day going until 10 or 11 am. So if you want to beat the lineups, get to Schwartz's by 10 - you'll even get a booth. Don't bother coming later unless you have a lot of time on your hands, or just go across the street to The Main deli, which is never busy and is almost as good. May the Schwartz be with you.... (couldn't resist another movie reference...)


Testing your movie trivia knowledge here. Recognize this? It's right down the street from Fairmount Bagel, an obligatory stop for any Torontonian who can't find a decent bagel back home. Which is just about everyone.

This is Moe Wilensky's - just like the sign says - at the corner of Fairmount and Clark. Still there - hasn't changed a bit from when it was a central spot in the movie Duddy Kravitz. Well, maybe they didn't have the French sign back then. Cool, huh?

Oh, and I couldn't resist coming full circle here talking about the movies. For what they spent on King Kong, they could have made 100 Duddy Kravitz's - but they didn't. Once was enough. I'll take one good movie any day over a sequel to a sequel. With rare exceptions like The Godfather, leave a good movie alone. Do we really have to be entertained that badly?