INETPhone: Telephone Services and Servers on Internet
RFC 1789

Document Type RFC - Informational (April 1995; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                            C. Yang
Request for Comments: 1789                     University of North Texas
Category: Informational                                       April 1995

         INETPhone: Telephone Services and Servers on Internet

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

IESG Note

   Internet Engineering Steering Group comment from the Transport Area
   Director: Please note well that this memo is an individual product of
   the author.  Work on standards and technology related to this topic
   is additionally taking place in the IETF in the Multiparty MUltimedia
   SessIon Control Working Group (MMUSIC).

Abstract

   INETPhone is a true telephone service through the Internet. It
   integrates the local telephone networks and the Internet using
   INETPhone servers. Thus a long distance call can be split into two
   local calls and an Internet connection, which is transparent to end
   users. Such a phone service through Internet will be a major step
   towards integrated services on Internet. In order to support the
   INETPhone and lay down the ground rules of the service, a scheme of
   "open partnership" is proposed, so that the entire Internet community
   can have the equal opportunity and benefits from the INETPhone
   service.

1. Introduction

   The success of traditional Internet services, such as the electronic
   mail, the file transfer, and the remote machine access, has inspired
   a row of new network applications -- the world-wide information web,
   voice and video conferencing, and network telemarketing are just a
   few to mention.  With the further development in infrastructure and
   the architecture of integrated, multimedia information services
   [1,2,3], certainly the Internet will play a crucial role in shaping
   up the future of so-called information super-highway.

   Among many new applications, the voice communication through Internet
   bears perhaps the most potential impact, since it competes directly
   with the telephone communication, which has become an indispensable

Yang                                                            [Page 1]
RFC 1789       Telephone Service and Servers on Internet      April 1995

   part of the modern society.  Recently, many software packages are
   available, either commercially or as public free-ware, which supports
   voice communication on Internet.  Some of these products are targeted
   directly as possible substitution for long distance telephone
   services.  However, so far, all such products only support voice
   communications using a computer that is on the Internet or is
   connected, via a SLIP link, to the Internet [4].

   This RFC presents a true telephone service, called INETPhone, which
   supports voice communication through the Internet.  INETPhone
   integrates the local phone network with the Internet. The phone
   network provides local access of INETPhone service with the existing
   telephone facilities, whereas the Internet delivers the packets of
   voice communication over long distances.  The service of INETPhone is
   illustrated by the following scenario.  Assuming a user at area A
   wants to call another user in area B. The user first makes a local
   call to an INETPhone server in area A. After the connection, the user
   keys in the remote phone number in area B to the server. Then the
   server in area A makes a connection to another INETPhone server in
   area B, and requests the remote server to dial, as a local call, the
   phone number in area B. Therefore, a long distance phone connection
   between users in area A and B is established via two local phone
   connections and one Internet connection between two INETPhone
   servers.

   The INETPhone provides a general service of voice communication on
   Internet compatible to the existing telephone service.  The
   motivation in developing and experimenting the INETPhone service can
   be two-folds: on the one hand, a general telephone service on the
   Internet will be a major step towards integrated services on Internet
   and a great challenge to the future development of Internet
   infrastructure and protocol architecture; on the other hand, the
   entire Internet community can take the advantage from the cheap and
   convenient voice communication of the INETPhone service.

2. Design Philosophy

   The design philosophy of the INETPhone differs from the most of
   current voice communication services on Internet in three basic
   aspects: integrating the existing telephone networks with the
   Internet; using the INETPhone servers to carry out the task of voice
   packet delivery on Internet; and an open-partnership of establishing
   the INETPhone service on Internet.  The discussion of each of these
   aspects is given as follows.
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