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Voice over IP (VoIP) – background and regulatory aspects. Background for discussions at ERG meeting 17.6.04. Olli Mattila Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority ( Chairman of the IRG FN WG / VoIP Subgroup). Content. Technical concept of VoIP vs PSTN phone

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Voice over IP (VoIP)

– background and regulatory aspects

Background for discussions at

ERG meeting 17.6.04

Olli Mattila

Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority

( Chairman of the IRG FN WG / VoIP Subgroup)


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Content

  • Technical concept of VoIP vs PSTN phone

  • Comments on market development / impact on PSTN

  • Comments on regulatory issuers

  • Ficora`s decision on VoIP service

  • IRG FN WG / VoIP subgroup



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Next Generation Networks (NGN) / IP-architecture approach

All services and applications

( voice, data, video)

Services

Internet protocol (IP)

Transmission

All network technologies


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Voice is one service inside NGN-communication services

Person-to-Person – Communication Services

Conversational

  • Voice call

  • Video call

    • Chat call

  • Multimedia call

  • Messaging

    • e-Mail

    • SMS EMS

    • MMS

      • IM

    Content-on-demand

    Browsing

    Download

    Streaming

    Push

    Broadcast

    Peer-to-Peer


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    Concept of IP Communication

    • Protocols split transmitted data into packets, add necessary addressing information to the packets and transmit them and assemble again data in receiving end


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    PSTN telephony vs VoIP

    • PSTN telephony VoIP

    • - Circuit switched - Packet switched

    • E.164 numbering - URL SIP names, E.164, IP addr,

    • Intelligent network / - Dumb network /

    • dumb terminal intelligent terminal

    • Charging bases - Charging bases

      • location, distance, min - more limited

    • Closed system - Open system

      • inherited security - security vital issue

    • Tech quality - Tech quality

      • standardised transmission - depend mainly on delays

      • characteristics and delay variations


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    Co-existance of IP phone and PSTN phone

    Today and long in the future publicly offered VoIP has to co-operate

    with PSTN (terminated, originated at PSTN)

    PSTN

    Internet

    Gateway

    This reflect to questions, like

    - numering


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    • Nature of VoIP service creates problems with several consumer protection issues, like

    • Location independence (”nomadicity”)

      • customer is able to register at any access point in any country

      • service provision can be controlled from any point world wide

    • Active terminals

      • requires electric power

    • Open network ( compared with closed PSTN network)

      • security questions


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    Comments on market development / consumer protection issues,

    impact on PSTN


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    • VoIP market trends consumer protection issues,

    • At present at its infancy, estimated in September 2003

      • less than 200 000 VoIP users world wide

      • less than 20 000 VoIP users in Europe

    • But expected to grow rapidly because

      • reduced capital and operating costs

      • voice services with a number of new features

      • new revenue opportunities for access providers through “triple play”,

    • that means voice, data and broadband internet

    • Growing number of broadband internet access will accelerate

    • the use of VoIP

    • Public VoIP service is at least on plan/ trial basis in most of EU countries


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    Estimations of VoIP switch over varies consumer protection issues,

    • Today 10 – 15 % of international voice traffic is based on VoIP

    • Optimistic estimations suggest that 50% of world`s telephone traffic will be based on VoIP by 2006. More pessimistic estimates refer to year 2015.

    PSTN

    IP based

    2006 -2015


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    Comments on regulatory issues consumer protection issues,


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    Regulatory discussions have started consumer protection issues,

    • USA

    • FCC published a proposed rulemaking in March 2004

    • several state regulators are considering the issue. New York Public

    • Service Commission issued decision (in May 21) on Vonage´s VoiP

    • EU

    • Ficora made regulatory decision on TeliaSonera`s VoIP service

    • in October 2003

    • Several EU countries are establishing national working groups or about

    • to launch national consultations on the issue

    • EU Commission plans to put document on VoIP regulatory aspects

    • for public consultation


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    Categories of VoIP services from regulators consumer protection issues,

    point of view

    • Outside of regulatory concern

      • Corporate internal use on business LAN/WAN

      • IP phone – IP phone, self provided

    • 2. In principle under regulation (end user services)

      • Carrier internal use

    • 3. Inside regulatory concern

      • IP phone to PSTN phone

      • PSTN phone to IP phone

      • IP phone – IP phone service provided by operator


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    • Dimensions of regulatory issues on VoIP consumer protection issues,

    • a) Consumer protection

    • USO directive: PATS definition / obligations?

    • b) Market / competition control, for example

      • Relationship with relevant markets – substitute to

      • PSTN voice telephony?

      • Interconnection / termination - regulatory costing?

      • Retail prices – location / distance independent?


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    Definitions in the USO Directive consumer protection issues,

    • Electronic communications service (ECS): A service normally provided for remuneration which consists wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks…

    • Publicly available telephone service (PATS): a service available to the public for originating and receiving national and international calls and access to emergency services through a number or numbers in a national or international telephone numbering plan…


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    Basic regulatory questions consumer protection issues,

    Are VoIP (which of VoIP services) classified as publicly available telephone services (PATS) and thus regulations set for traditional telephone service apply ?

    If yes, can the obligations be obeyed ( due to technical restrictions) in practice ?

    Note: see as an example list of obligations set in the Ficora`s VoIP decision


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    Emergency calls consumer protection issues,

    • Emergency arrangements do not fit calls over internet,

    • because the nature of internet

      • customer is able to register at any access point in any country

      • service provision can be controlled from any point world wide

      • Basic problems

      • problem with reach the emergency centre

      • problem with wrong or lack of caller`s location information


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    VoIP quality consumer protection issues,

    • Mainly affected by transmission delays,

    • delay variations, packet losses (and bandwith)

    • Quality classes defined by ETSI/TIPHON for

    • end to end quality

    • ITU has technically standardised 5 QoS classes. Two first are regarded acceptable for VoIP service

    • Current international VoIP is mainly based on “Best Effort”


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    • Legal interception consumer protection issues,

    • Difficult to administrate due to (international) location

    • independence of IP

    • VoIP also makes use of encryption more easy

    • ETSI is working on the issue concerning technical arrangement

    • Communication security

    • Network integrity /service availability (power failures, terminal closing due to spam and network overloading)

    • Communication confidentality


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    • Numbering issues consumer protection issues,

    • VoIP numbers in national numbering plans

    • Is there reasons to aim specific number series for VoIp service ?

    • Is there need in future for common URL to identify for emergency services (for example SIP:SOS@ home-domain) ?

    • Universal service issues

    • review USO models including VoIP ?

    • Extra territorial issues ( services coming outside Europe)

    • influence of possible unsymmetric regulation ?

    • obligations for services coming outside of EU ?


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    Ficora`s decision on Sonera`s VoIP service consumer protection issues,

    in Finland


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    VoIP regulation in Finland consumer protection issues,

    • TeliaSonera’s VoIP Service (”Sonera Puhekaista”)

      • service is offered only to TeliaSonera’s broad band users

      • offered as a subsitute for PSTN connection

    • FICORA’s decision in October 2003

      • www.ficora.fi/englanti/document/SoneraPuhekaista.pdf

      • TeliaSonera’s VoIP service was considered to be PATS because

        • the service is available to the public

        • the service is offered through a number in the Finnish numbering plan

        • users can originate and receive national and international calls and use emergency services

      • the service was also considered to be offered at a fixed location


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    • TeliaSonera’s VoIP service has to comply with consumer protection issues,

    • the obligations set for PATS in the national regulation,

    • main obligations beeing (1):

    • ensure that users are able to make international calls

    • using access code 00

    • ensure that users are able to access the emergency call

    • number 112 and other special emergency number free of charge

    • on request of user , free of cost, arrange a categorised

    • barring service

    • free of charge provide itemized bills

    • ensure that user`s nme, address and telephone number is

    • collected and published in telephone directory


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    TeliaSonera’s VoIP service has to comply with the obligations set for PATS in the national regulation, main obligations beeing (2):

    • equip its communications network and communications service

    • with technical facilities that allows legal interception

    • service that recipient can see calling number (CLI)

    • ensure that its activities can continue under exceptional circumtances

    • ensure that network and service satisfies the quality requirement of the Act

    • follow provision of the Act on protection and Data Security in Telecommunications (for example regulation how to treat , store and use call data)


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    IRG / FN WG / VoIP subgroup obligations set for PATS in the national regulation, main obligations beeing (2):

    • Just starting the work, first meeting on Monday June 21th

    • Co-operation with

      • Commission

      • IRG End User group

      • CEPT / ECC / TRIS group

      • ” / NNA – VoIP PT

    • Follow

      • National regulatory development in Europe

      • USA (and Japan) regulatory development

      • Work of other organisations (OECD, ECTA, etc)

      • Standardisation work (ETSI, IETF, etc)


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