At Telephony Online, Rich Karpinski notes,

In today’s carrier networks, IP may not always be hyped or even seen, but it is indeed everywhere — and in 2010, it’s only going deeper and making an even bigger impact.

I think this protocol proliferation in the name of IP is the death rattle of the old network. IP is a data protocol so of course it dominated the enterprise market and it is prevalent on the Internet so of course Internet players such as Google want it to be upgraded for so-called Multimedia.
But the message of all the brave talk about “ultimate outcomes that have yet to take hold today” is that once again it is becoming reasonable to predict that cable will win. CableTV is already frankly devoted to the transmission of the high definition interactive video that will comprise 99 percent of network traffic. This is the black hole into which all the plans for sophisticated Rich Communications Suites, guaranteed QoS, Internet Multimedia Services, and all the abortive plan for Long Term Evolution (LTE) will fall.
The companies for the new era will be the hardware enablers of broadband interactive video: graphics and network processors, optical transponders, wavelength division muxing gear, and optical circuit switches for the new TDM circuits that will be crucial for the robust streaming video that will be at the heart of the market.
That’s the Henry Gau Telecosm and I’m sticking to it. Upgrading the old networks for video and multimedia, one service at a time, is a non-starter. It will be swept away by truly broadband wavelength circuits optimized for interactive video streams. Within these circuits all other
traffic can flow without significant additional expense.
Security, routing, session management, and switching all will be done on the customer edge and the datacenter, which will comprise the bulk of the server edge.
Unless the telco’s grasp that their old circuit model is relevant again, they are going to give way to cable TV players who already get the picture in high definition and are moving ever closer to video teleconferencing.