In a traditional VoIP system, the phone switch determined what is an IP call and what goes over the PSTN. If you move all of that functionality into a phone, the expense of the phone obviously would increase. MGCP is supposed to alleviate some of this cost due to its simplicity in providing this functionality.
As for replacing H.323, I doubt that will happen anytime soon due to the number of H.323 units already out there. But then again, scales of economy can change things in a hurry!
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