The Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP is the most significant convergence service that is expected. It had been forecasted to generate $196 billion in 2007and by 2008, 20% of U.S. homes are expected to have VoIP telephones. Over $1 trillion in revenues through 2010 may be generated by aggregate VoIP revenue between now and 2010 alone. From a wide variety of business and consumer Internet Protocol appliances, convergence may also generate new revenue which includes next generation digital music players, home entertainment systems, home video phones as well as enterprise collaboration system. By 2010 the value of this market was forecasted to be worth almost $90 billion, over the next five years cumulate value will be $360 billion. Through 2010, other emerging products and services which would generate sizeable revenues include the following: enterprise collaboration software ($60 billion); Internet Protocol Television (IPTV, $55 billion); mobile phone content ($50 billion); network games ($35 billion); online music ($20 billion)."2
For the past decade, convergence wherein voice, video as well as data communications are supported by a single network has been an important future direction. As more legacy communications infrastructure is upgraded to integrated internet protocol (IP) equipment it will continuously give importance to future direction.
Networking is simplified through network convergence, wherein instead of two three or more, it creates one infrastructure to operate and manage. All sorts of interactive as well as real-time multimedia applications and processes could conceivably be supported by converged network.
When network convergence was first being proposed through Internet Protocol technology, about 10 years ago, it was a different age for communications and it was a time when in separate network universes, voice and data existed. Moreover, it was segregated by infrastructure which was designed to avoid interference. Internet Protocol eventually became the building block for singular pathway for all forms of network communications. For the past decade, network convergence has focused on voice-data integration in telephony through Internet Protocol technology. IP telephony session was held last week and a group of approximately 30 IT professionals including technical representatives from IBM Canada Ltd. As well as Cisco Systems Canada Co. assembled in order to discuss the driving business values of the technology. The discussion was focused initially on the most popular and proven of application of network convergence which eventually led to examining greater value of consolidating business networks into one.3
In the near term, the health region has a need for a revamped telephony strategy in order to replace its aging as well as costly equipment and services. However, over time, there is a plan to address a wide range of communications challenges. At an "end of life" condition within five years, the health region has a large number of single-purpose propriety networks. During his presentation, Mr. Beaurivage, states that "Converging these single-purpose networks onto one IP-based platform offers unique integration possibilities."4