In today's edition, Ron Kermish and Paul Smith from Bain, discuss the hidden jewel inside MCI and AT&T that made them the target of Verizon, SBC and Qwest.

It's VoIP silly.

The network, the engineering skill, the intellectual property of how to do VoIP for millions of consumers, businesses and government minutes is at the heart of the purchases. Convergence networks for carriers simplifies management and operation. That's because they simplify the architecture, allowing the network to balance the network load automatically interweaving packets of voice conversations together into a seamless web of conversations.

But, it's not just for the LD; it's for the new kinds of services. Convergence services. Services built on IP that may happen to involve real-time voice or not.

Media-rich services.

This is the future of communications, and, with the acquisition of MCI by Verizon, and the acquisition of AT&T by SBC, it is the future of these 'behemoth' corporations.

Interestingly, Smith and Kermish recommend that carriers must jump into the world of convergence more and faster and deeper, despite their legacy infrastructure, because the competition is already there.

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