The concept of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) itself, originated in about 1995, when hobbyists began to recognize the potential of sending voice data packets over the Internet rather than communicating through standard telephone service. An Israeli company by the name of “VocalTec” was the one developing this application. The application was designed to run on a basic PC. This concept allowed PC users to avoid long distance charges, and it was in 1995 that the first Internet Phone Software appeared. These early applications of VoIP were marked by poor sound quality and connectivity. VoIP evolved gradually over the next few years, gradually reaching the point where some small companies were able to offer PC to phone service in about 1998. Phone to phone service soon followed, although it was often necessary to use a computer to establish the connection. Like many Internet applications in the late 1990’s, early VoIP service relied on advertising sponsorship to subsidize costs, rather than by charging customers for calls. The gradual introduction of broadband Ethernet service allowed for greater call clarity and reduced latency, although calls were still often marred by static or difficulty making connections between the Internet and PSTN (public telephone networks).
Historically, PSTN have relied on what is commonly referred to as circuit-switched technology to transport telephone calls. This technology establishes a ‘permanent’ connection between the calling and the receiving parties for the entire duration. The problem with circuit-switched technology is that it requires a significant amount of bandwidth dedicated to each call, and it can only support certain types of calls (i.e. telephone to telephone). Moreover, the hardware needed to run circuit-switched networks is very expensive due, in large part, to the fact that voice and data services must be carried by different wires and thus need separate hardware to accommodate the two types of traffic. The higher cost of the hardware has caused many traditional telephone companies to resort to using parts of the Internet infrastructure to connect PSTN calls.
Naturally, the traditional telephone companies pass along the costs of building and maintaining a circuit-switched network to the consumer in the form of higher rates for their telephone services. Telecom companies may save some money by borrowing from Internet bandwidth, but if your call is placed on a regular telephone using PSTN hardware you won’t see this saving.
Nowadays, Indonesia is all set to embrace VoIP in its wireless market. It has been increasing since 8 years in many terms. Actually, VoIP is developing in same ways with computer technology. But, the usefulness sometimes does not carried in same ways with internet networks. Because of that, the development of VoIP technology in Indonesia is relative slower than others. Though, VoIP is the cheapest solution of communication to make a long distance call. In the other hand, recently, many telecom companies have decided to develop VoIP faster, in case to gain more consumer in Indonesia. For example, MOBIF Bhd, a maker of Internet-based systems, has signed up a deal with a distributor in Indonesia, Jogja Medianet that is into sales and purchases of surveillance and telephony products. Jogja Medianet is planning to buy MOBIF’s Internet surveillance systems and both the broadband and dial-up VoIP boxes. According to CEO of MOBIF, Indonesia is a big market as many of its citizens working or studying abroad. Thus, VoIP can prove to be a helpful tool to attract more consumers. Based on that fact, Indonesia has become a potential market for doing VoIP business.
There are some VoIP service provider that hold VoIP business in Indonesia. Telkom, as government company, has been leading this sector for many years. Besides that, there are four other service provider that has got license from government to handle and serve VoIP technology. That operators are Indosat,Satelindo, Gaharu, and Atlasat. But, technology enabled public society to serve VoIP as ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). Telkom has been selling their VoIP product known as Telkomsave since five years ago. It can be accessed by pressing 17017. Now, TelkomSave is marketing VoIP in a new code access, 017 that much clearer and faster than 17017. Besides that, Indosat have a VoIP accessed code 016, Gaharu with 019, and Atlasat with accessed code 018. Those ITSP companies, must have done interconnection to connect all conversation and connection whole the world. Generally, ITSP installed a gateway in each operator, like Telkom, Indosat, Excelcom, etc so that all client can exploit their ITSP service. Accordingly, the ITSP providers often accept the irresponsible behavior from operator.
Because of the profit of VoIP business, an unfairness is usually done in many ways. It can be usually found in illegal ISP. They just provide VoIP gateway, router, some extension phone, and put them in a cupboard to give VoIP service. It just take at most 100 million and they can get a lot of profit, because they make compression channel till 12 times. All that operator rent the E-1 from satellite owner with the G703 standard which able to provide unlimited bandwidth, called on demand bandwidth. E-1 is a media to make a connection, provided by telecommunication network provider. From E-1, they can make a long distance call via VoIP as long as they have POP (point of present) at their destination. Those illegal operators can offer to access communication cheaply because they do not pay interconnection expense to Telkom and they do not pay for lease also. Because of them, the quality of voice from other line has decreased. It can happen because they made the connection traffic full and did maximum compression. Unfairness can also be done by blocking all access to E-1 device. Without E-1, operator can not do any connection. Usually, It is done by an operator that have an ITKP service to other ITKP provider that is connected with their network, in case to stop their competitors. This unfairness has caused a barren emulation climate. This is the main reason why the development of VoIP is slower than other country.
Government finally decided to keep a fair-competition to reduce the side effect of ”free-fight business”. It is true that VoIP technology must be developed to decrease the phone-fee. But, it must be done with a fair competition. To gain this purpose, Government makes some new regulation to arrange VoIP traffic business. Fundamental Technical Plan is the example. It express that “normally open” policy has to be obeyed by all operators. “Normally open” policy guarantees all code can be accessed from all operator’ s terminal automatically. The next step is upholding rule of law and improving observation to operator. Government will also punish the illegal operators that keep their business activities.
Government said that all VoIP providers must obey all of the regulations in Indonesia. It is implemented in all aspect of telecommunication business, including VoIP business. This matter is intended to keep a fair competition, in case to improve the development of VoIP. With all those regulations, Government expects that distributing and promoting VoIP in case to gain more profit can be done with a fair competition. With the fair competition in business, VoIP is expected to become the conventional telephone network substitution.
Sources : Pikiran Rakyat