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All information current as of 13:58:08 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Voice Over IP (2nd Edition)

   by Uyless Black

    Prentice Hall PTR
    15 January, 2002


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Editorial description(s):
In his most recent book, Voice Over IP, author Uyless Black proves himself a brave man by tackling the daunting subject of Internet telephony. This is the world of private branch exchanges (PBXs), local exchange carriers (LECs), plain old telephone service (POTS), and a slew of other acronyms that are enough to unnerve even the most tech-savvy among us.

However, Black's long-winded explanations often make it tough to digest the information he presents. For example, he approaches voice coders like so: "The principle function of a voice coder is to encode pulse code modulation or PCM user speech samples into a small number of bits in such a manner that the speech is robust in the presence of link errors, jittery networks, and bursty transmissions." And though there is an appendix that lists all the acronyms used in the text and what they stand for, this book would have benefited mightily from a full-blown glossary.

On the positive side, Voice Over IP is chock-full of terrific tables and charts that illustrate network topologies and the different elements of protocols involved in transmitting voice traffic over an IP network. In addition, an extremely useful chapter titled "Performance Considerations" provides the results of three voice over IP studies conducted in various networking environments as well as comparative product information on such market leaders as Cisco and Lucent. So if you're not put off by high-voltage technology and its murky vocabulary, this book is a good selection. However, it may be a little much for those who are unfamiliar or only vaguely acquainted with IP telephony. --Sarah L. Roberts-Witt
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Book News, Inc.
Written for telecommunications professionals, this guide to VoIP evaluates its advantages and disadvantages, and reviews the accepted technical standards and resulting platforms. Recent developments in VoIP technology receive particular attention, including VoIP gateways, RSVP and DiffServ operations, and traffic engineering functions. The emerging approaches to interoperability between IP networks and the public switched telephone network are also discussed. Black is a consultant.Copyright © 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Book Info
Presents the answers to configuration and troubleshooting problems, both basic and advanced concepts. Designed to get your voice over IP networks up and running. DLC: Internet telephony. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The authoritative guide to Internet voice communications (now completely updated!

Voice Over IP, Second Edition is the essential guide for telecommunications professionals who must understand or deploy VoIP. Leading network consultant Uyless Black carefully evaluates VoIP's challenges and compelling advantages, and then reviews every technical standard and platform. This thoroughly updated Second Edition reflects dramatic improvements in VoIP standards and practice, adding completely new chapters on gateways, RSVP and DiffServ call processing, and traffic engineering.

Voice Over IP, Second Edition is everything you need to know about running voice over IP networks today(from technical fundamentals to next-generation protocols and beyond.

About the Author

UYLESS BLACK is a widely known and respected consultant and lecturer on computer networks and data communications and author of every book in the Prentice Hall Series in Advanced Communications Technologies, including IP Routing Protocols and MPLS and Label Switching Networks. He is also creator of Uyless Black's Networking 101 Video Course. Black resides in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


This book is one in a series of books called "Advanced Communications Technologies." As the name of the book implies, the focus is on the Internet and the Internet Protocol (IP) in relation to the support of voice traffic.

The subject matter of this book is vast and my approach is to provide an introduction to the topic. In consonance with the intent of this series, this survey also has considerable detail but not to the level needed to design a system. For that, I leave you to your project team and the various specifications that establish the standards for Internet telephony.

This book is considered to be at an intermediate to advanced level. As such, it assumes the reader has a background in voice and data communications and the IP suite. Notwithstanding, for the new reader, I have provided several tutorials and guide you to them in the appropriate parts of the book. I also guide the more experienced reader away from them.

I hope you find this book a valuable addition to your library.


In writing multiple books about data and voice communications systems, the author is faced with a question: How much overlap (redundancy of material) should there be among the books in the series? If the overlap is too little, the reader must buy other books in the series to fill the gaps. If the overlap is too great, the reader who has purchased other books in the series may feel cheated by spending additional money to obtain the same information.

My approach is to try to strike a compromise between the two extremes. If another book in the series contains information on a topic that is relevant to the topic of the current book, yet is not a required subject in order to read the current book, I make reference to the book. However, that is not always possible. In a few cases, it is necessary to include material from other books in the series. Otherwise, the book in question becomes a fragmented reference to other books. I have taken this approach with this book. I trust you find this an efficient and useful way to deal with this matter.

To help strike this compromise, I have included appendices that are extracted from some of my other books. A basic knowledge of telephony signaling, the V.34 modem, ISDN, and SS7 will be very helpful as you read some of these chapters about VoIP, and I have included tutorials on these subjects in the appendices at the back of this book.


This book is a survey (albeit a detailed one) of the VoIP technology. A wide variety of VoIP control messages and protocols are used to support VoIP, and the standards bodies and the Internet task forces are defining hundreds of messages and scores of protocol flows between VoIP gateways, call agents, and user machines. It is not the intent of this book to explain the contents of each message and each protocol flow, which would simply duplicate the VoIP specifications. Instead, I provide tutorial explanations of these messages and flows, as well as selected examples of each. In each case, I provide you with references to the original specifications. In this manner, the book should provide you with a handy reference tool and act as a pointer toward more information if you so desire.


A considerable portion this book is devoted to explaining many Internet-based specifications pertaining to packet telephony.

Keep in mind that the Internet drafts are works in progress, and should be viewed as such. You should not use the drafts with the expectation that they will not change. Notwithstanding, if used as general tutorials, the drafts discussed in this book are "final enough" to warrant their explanations. Indeed, many of my clients use these drafts in their product planning and design.

For all the Internet standards and drafts the following applies:

Copyright (c) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than English.

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

Reader review(s):

This book is not about voice over IP, August 23, 1999
I am unhappy. Each time I get a book about voice over IP I feel cheated. This book is about all sorts of things but it is not about voice over IP. The author exercises his knowledge on many interesting topics. Some of them are related to voice over IP but most of them are padding. This book fills most of it's chapters with related subjects like SS7, PPP, telephony etc... The author missed the mark with this book. This is the fourth voice over IP book I have read and if you took all four together you may get a half decent. What is covered is H.323 and MGCP both are not badly covered but they zoom down to the bit level far too quickly without really giving the reader a grasp about their real meaning. The book does state that some sections are needed for completeness, but they ramble on without a good general direction. Again I shall continue seeking knowledge, but this whole topic area is quite badly covered. My advice is to read the ITU recommendations for H323, T.120, Q931 etc...

Where was the editor?, July 29, 2000
The typographical errors in this book make it useless. I had some knowledge of this subject prior to reading it. The parts I was familiar with were so full of errors, that I could not trust any of the rest of it. Based on the price I paid, I think the publisher should pay me to send back the corrections! I am sure there is some useful stuff in here, but weeding through the junk is not worth it. In the section on MGCP, the acronym "MGCP" is spelled at least 3 different ways. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS ONE!

Good Service Provider Reference, September 22, 1999
I have implemented several voice over IP systems, and I find Uyless' book to be an excellent technical reference. It covers much of the technical information that vendor documentation leaves out and is more readable than an ITU Spec. The call flow information is useful, and the ASN.1 references are the first that I have seen. This is not for a beginner but provides nice insight.

Not worth reading, September 28, 2000
I am not new to VoIP, and I know it fairly well already (attend the standards bodies, etc.), but I needed to find a good book for other employees. This was not it. Uyless left many errors, many open topics, and frankly the book is not really about Voice over IP in detail. There are much better books out there: Olivier Hersent's "IP Telephony" and Duskalis's "IP Telephony" are much more thorough on VoIP (despite their titles), although they are somewhat out of date already. (anything over 6 months old will be)

A Good Rough Draft - Rushed to Print, July 7, 2000
I have mixed feelings about this book. There is a lot of good information, but it is full of typographical errors that left me feeling like I was reading a rough draft. I'm a graduate student and I bought this book looking for a good tutorial on VOIP. After reading the reviews and seeing the table of contents, this looked like the right book for me. I agree with some of the other reviews that certain areas were covered to briefly. However, the author does a good job of trying to bring together all the pieces of VOIP. The meat of the book is in the later chapters on H.323, MGCP and SS7. I would have been satified with this book were it not for the NUMEROUS errors. Examples are "next work" instead of "network," "trucking" instead of "trunking", paragraphs repeated on the same page, references to incorrect figures, incorrectly labeled figures, mis-spelled acronyms etc. I kept trying to overlook these mistakes while reading the book, but there were so many that I coudn't. The book has many good tables and specifications, but the quantity of errors throughout made me question the accuracy of these too.

Bottom Line: Wait for the second edition. This book coud be really good, but it wasn't ready to be printed yet.

Why Black is the master in Voice Over IP, April 11, 2000
I was truly impressed by this title and frankly can't agree with some of the other critics. In actuality, they helped me buy this book because Voice Over IP by Ulyess Black is exactly what I have been looking for. After all, we are talking about Voice Over IP. While it does touch other areas, I really liked this book because it also covered other key areas of networking... things I must understand or reinforce before I need to learn Voice Over IP. And he does this quite well. Did he teach me something I already knew? Yes, but some of it I had forgotten! Did he teach me something I didn't know? Definitely! And this book allows me to walk away with a better understanding of Voice Over IP. I'd click on the TOC in the left hand column. I think you'll agree. While I don't know Mr. Black, he's sure taught me a lot. And thanks to Prentice Hall for such a great book!

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