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Voice over IP Fundamentals

3.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 061-9472701683
ISBN-10: 1578701686
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The authors of Voice over IP Fundamentals--three packet-voice specialists at Cisco Systems--initiate their exploration of next-generation technologies for supporting conversations across large distances: the switched telephone network as implemented on large (intercontinental) and small (building and enterprise) scales. They then point out problems with the old way of doing things and illuminate the standards and regulatory conditions that have made Internet telephony attractive. Signaling System 7 (SS7) gets particularly insightful coverage, with ample graphical support for the clear, fact-rich, example-laden prose.

The authors do a great service for readers by breaking packet telephony into its component technologies and explaining each one carefully. Coverage of the various protocols that enable voice over IP, particularly H.323 and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), is simultaneously clear and deep. The same goes for media gateway protocols and various schemes for translating sounds into digital signals and back again, while retaining maximum clarity. There's even some practical material; concluding chapters diagram Cisco router configurations for voice traffic and flesh out solutions with case studies.

You'll like this book if you need to implement a voice over IP system and know more about IP than you do about traditional voice telecommunications. The patient and detailed explanations of traditional telephony concepts and voice over IP protocols will mesh nicely with your existing data communications knowledge, enabling you to make wise design and product decisions. --David Wall

Covered topics: The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), signaling specifications (including Bell System, ISDN, and Signaling System 7), the basics of Internet Protocol (IP), modulation and compression of voice, Quality of Service (QoS), H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), and gateway protocols. Business considerations of Internet telephony are also addressed.

From the Back Cover

A systematic approach to understanding the basics of Voice over IP

* Understand the basics of PSTN services and IP signaling protocols, including SS7
* Learn how VoIP can run the same applications as the existing telephony system, but in a more cost-efficient and scalable manner
* Delve into such VoIP topics as jitter, latency, packet loss, codecs, quality of service tools, and mean opinion scores
* Learn about the functional components involved in using Cisco gateways to deploy VoIP networks

Voice over IP (VoIP), which integrates voice and data transmission, is quickly becoming an important factor in network communications. It promises lower operational costs, greater flexibility, and a variety of enhanced applications. Voice over IP Fundamentals provides a thorough introduction to this new technology to help experts in both the data and telephone industries plan for the new networks.

You will learn how the telephony infrastructure was built and how it works today, the major concepts concerning voice and data networking, transmission of voice over data, and IP signaling protocols used to interwork with current telephony systems. The authors cover various benefits and applications of VoIP and how to ensure good voice quality in your network.

This book is part of the Networking Technology Series from Cisco Press, which offers networking professionals valuable information for constructing efficient networks, understanding new technologies, and building successful careers.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cisco Press (March 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578701686
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578701681
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've had the Davidson book on the shelf for about a year and finally picked it up for a careful read to help me prepare of Cisco's CVOICE exam. While the book is useful toward that end, I recommend it only cautiously.
No doubt part of the problem is mine; by background includes extensive data but very little voice experience. I found the topic Signaling System 7 and similar topics to be slow reading, and I questioned the value of the IP tutorial. A reader with the inverse of my background may have exactly the opposite experience.
This book is unusually dense with acronyms, even for a technical book. The nature of the topic makes acronyms unavoidable, but I felt the lack of a glossary was a serious deficiency. I frequently found myself flipping back and forth through the book to decode an acronym to no avail. Thorough readers might want to construct their own glossary with index cards.
I also had the sense, especially toward the end of the book, that I was getting less of an explanation of the technology than a simple compendium of features. This was especially evident in those thin sections on the Session Initiation Protocol, the Simple Gateway Control Protocol, the Media Gateway Control Protocol, and the Virtual Switch Controller. I found the sections on the H.323 Protocols and Quality of Service more useful and complete.
Given the ambitious scope of the book, I believe the author could have provided a more readable and understandable treatment with six or seven hundred pages rather than the three hundred plus provided. Still, I find my understanding of the subject to have increased substantially. It is a fact that there are few alternatives. I give the book a qualified recommendation. Read it slowly and carefully, mastering acronyms as you go, to maximize its value.
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Format: Hardcover
Jon and James have a conversational writing style that was easy to follow for me. They have included a lot of historical information that should help the reader understand the momentum behind the transition that is taking place today, creating a "new-world" model of internetworking that has its own rules.
As previously mentioned, this is not a design and implementation guide - the forthcoming Cisco Press title "Cisco Voice Integration" will be when it is released. This book does, however, give the reader a very detailed introduction to the underlying technologies that make Voice over IP, Voice over Frame Relay, and Voice over ATM work.
The book was a good read even for someone like myself with over 12 years in telephony and networking. Jon and James have done a good job of collecting and communicating relevant information about each of the VoIP building blocks.
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Format: Hardcover
Strong Points: -The people who wrote it are definitely knowledgeable: They have loads of information about almost every topic they discuss -Chapter organization: the chapters are well organized as far as the order in which to expose a reader to the topics, building up to the next. Weak Points: -In almost every chapter, the author(s) frequently mention or compare the topic being discussed with an actual Cisco product. While many people agree they make good products, including myself, this book should be about the VoIP as a standard (as the title implies), not Cisco's products. -The author(s) explain most topics by throwing tons of (or too much) information at the reader, including exceptions to the rule - all in the same sentence. Some of the key points are not even mentioned or elaborated on, while the author goes to point out small or insignificant details. -While discussing the history of Telephony and VoIP technology, the use of acronyms is unavoidable, but the author(s) overuses them to the extreme. At times, there are synonym acronyms that the author(s) will use randomly and interchangeably in the same chart, diagram or sentence; this is highly confusing. Also, there is no glossary, so you have to waste time flipping back through the pages to look up acronyms they spelled out once. Many acronyms are not even defined - they are just mentioned as casual talk to define other acronyms (so have your internet browser ready). -The author(s) frequently define topics and acronyms sections or chapters after they are first mentioned. This is also very confusing and frustrating. -The book is filled with charts and graphs. Most of them you really have to study to understand because they use many little pictures for which there is no legend, and some you flat our need an electrical engineering degree to understand.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the one to read if you want to know something about the basics of Voice Over IP and the protocols which are involved like H.323. It also gives you an introduction to the POTS ( plain old telephony service ) standards. So, if you are new to VoIP and want to read about it from the ground, buy this.
But it is not the right choice if you are searching for preparation material for the cisco #640-647 cvoice exam. For that exam you also have to know something about VoFR and VoATM, which is not covered deeply enough here.
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By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jim, Jon, and Brian have written a good informational book about the basics of voip technology. It is interesting to see where voice started and provide a clear path for where it is going. I found the configurations in the back very useful.
As a note to the previous reviewer: Page 168 states that "serialization delay is not covered IN-DEPTH". If the previous reviewer continued to read the book they would have noted on page 213 and 214 a discussion on propagation delay and the need for fragmentation. Overall I found the book useful, however I would have liked more configurations.
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