Most helpful positive review
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Obviously I highly recommend it (our department has two)
on January 16, 2000
This book is an excellent resource for the Telecommunications professional who is trying to deploy VoIP. It covers most of the major signaling protocols you'll find in VoIP based networks. It also covers how voice traffic is actually carried across IP networks (RTP and RTCP). It details network designs and network design concerns, as well as providing a case study on how to test these designs. It finishes with a thorough explanation of Fax and Fax over Packet networks.
The book comes with six major sections: Signaling, Media Transport, Call Control, Voice Quality, Case Study, Fax. While I cannot list all of the details covered in each section, I did highlight some of those I found useful. I'm sure I will have left something out and later wished I had added it; but this just shows the breadth and depth of the book.
Under the Signaling section, the author reviews in some detail SGCP, MGCP, and NCS. H.323 is covered very well (includes normal and FastConnect procedures). SIP is also covered in great detail. The use of SDP for each of the above protocols is discussed as well.
Under the Media Transport section, RTP and RTCP are covered in great detail. RSVP and implementation concerns are discussed. Finally, a glimpse into topics that reduce header bandwidth for use in low bandwidth applications is also discussed: AAL2, IP Header compression.
The Call Control section does a good job of blending TDM networking (SS7) with VoIP networking for the basis of call setup and application interaction. This section includes call flows (a good picture is worth a thousand words) as well as descriptive text. This section also reviews SS7 for the reader to ensure agreement on all of the important topics.
The Voice Quality section is the first book that really delves into PSQM. It shows how to use this technique. This section also spends a good deal of time with real network measurements utilizing HP test equipment. I'm convinced PSQM will be used by network engineers in determining their network quality.
The Case Study section helps the reader through how to test a VoIP network. It also shows different ways of measuring the same thing (very helpful, since your network may or may not have a given link layer).
Finally, the last section on fax is very well written. It covers all of the major protocols (T.30, T.37, T.38) and even delves into obscure, but important topics like what a fax preamble is, when phase reversal occurs, etc.
No author can write one book for all readers. Likewise, a quality review doesn't just look at the positive. This book has a few areas that the reader may want more information on, and they will have to look elsewhere (or wait for the second edition?).
For example: in the signaling plane, IPDC is not discussed. This is not that big a deal since IPDC handles call control much like SGCP and MGCP, but IPDC certainly brings some new wrinkles into the picture. TALI is also not covered in the signaling plane, but will play a major role in SS7 message transfer for a lot of networks.
In the bearer plane, I would like to have seen a little more explanation around the Layer 2 overhead. PPP, AAL5, even FR add noticeable overhead on top of VoIP. While this topic was discussed (pp. 92-95), it is assumed the reader is knowledgeable enough in this area to be able to calculate their implementation's use of bandwidth in the bearer plane. Bearer Latency is also discussed, but again, only 2 pages here, and no real way to apply this to the reader's specific problem area.
Overall a very high quality book. While it may not be written for the novice VoIP engineer, it certainly covers almost all of the major topics in enough detail to be useful for almost anyone else in the VoIP arena. Obviously I highly recommend it (our department has two).