Nearly half of all networks built with Cisco equipment will support IP telephony in two years, according to Terry Walsh, managing director of Cisco Australia. What's more, there is enormous opportunity for developers to write applications for IP phones as the technology's adoption becomes more widespread.
Cisco is heavily backing the IP telephony market, and Walsh said the company is currently in discussions with two software developers in Australia to build custom applications for the handsets.
IP, or "soft" phones, transform the caller's voice into IP packets, which then enables the call to be switched over a traditional data network. Because the voice is converted into packets, the IP phones, which include a hand-sized LCD display screen, can integrate with other data applications such as e-mail, calendars/planners and contact databases.
The technology's adoption will be driven by the custom applications written for these devices, said Walsh. Cisco is now on the lookout for partners that can build these applications.
"There is a huge scope of opportunity for developers to do that."