Light Reading
Thirty companies in the VOIP peering business have answered an RFI from CableLabs to link up the VOIP networks of the cable guys

Cable Crowd Seeks VOIP Peers

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
12/20/2005
50%
50%

A CableLabs VOIP peering RFI (request for information) has been answered by many of the best-known names in the VOIP peering business, among them VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), XConnect Global Networks Ltd. , Arbinet-thexchange Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBX), Neustar Inc. (NYSE: NSR), Stealth Communications Inc. , and InfiniRoute Networks Inc. , Light Reading has learned.

CableLabs, a consortium of most of the big cable MSOs, is helping its members build a VOIP peering solution that would enable direct calls between the member companies' VOIP subscribers. These calls wouldn't traverse the public switched telephone network (PSTN), a trick that could save the cable companies thousands, possibly tens of thousands, every month in interconnection fees to telcos, sources say. (See Cable Is the Voice of VOIP.)

CableLabs also points out that the quality of PSTN-connected calls suffers, because the calls often must be transcoded several times before reaching their destination. In its RFI, the consortium says videophone calls that work nicely over a direct, peered connection between cable VOIP users are reduced to audio-only when they must traverse the PSTN. (See VOIP Keeps Fueling Cable Growth.)

The RFI was issued November 22, and the due date for responses was December 14. CableLabs has said that 30 companies responded to the RFI, but it won't say what or when its next steps might be. “I think CableLabs has asked some very broad questions, and has stated very clearly that this is not even necessarily a precursor to a contract coming out,” says Arbinet-thexchange Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBX) CTO Steve Heap. “What I think they’ll do next is look at all the responses and then enter into discussions with a select group of those responders because their ideas or approaches were interesting to them.”

Stealth Communications Inc. CEO Shrihari Pandit says each CableLabs member company will choose its own VOIP peering contractor, but each winning contractor must comply with a set of standards developed by CableLabs. The creation of that standards set, Shrihari suggests, is the main reason for the RFI. The RFI itself states: “The MSO VoIP Peering project is a CableLabs-led initiative aimed at developing technical requirements, architecture and interoperable protocol specifications for delivering end-to-end VoIP and other real-time multimedia communication exchanges between service operators.” (See CableLabs Issues VOIP RFI.)

“When I looked at the RFI, I saw that the diagrams they are using look a lot like the VPF,” Shrihari says, referring to his company’s Ethernet-based Voice Peering Fabric exchange.

VOIP peering has become an important issue to cable MSOs as the number of their VOIP subscribers has swelled over the past two years. TeleGeography Inc. finds that cable MSOs are the largest providers of VOIP service in the U.S. with roughly 1.8 million users. (See Cable Gets a Vault from VOIP.)

And interest in VOIP peering appears to be growing at a pace with those numbers. "The combination of VOIP and Ethernet, is driving the VOIP peering revolution for carriers and enterprises worldwide,” writes Hunter Newby of Telx Group Inc. in his VOIP Peering report on Light Reading.

“The addition of two supporting technologies -- electronic number mapping (ENUM) and session initiation protocol (SIP) -- enables true end-to-end IP-based calling, over the public Internet or a private network, eliminating the need for an intervening carrier," Newby writes. (See SIP Guide.)

ENUM is a protocol that associates IP addresses to telephone numbers, allowing calls to be routed and managed in the IP domain from start to finish.

Multilateral VOIP peering between cable networks would eliminate interconnections with IXCs, “taking calls from the end-user device on a local network directly to another end user on a different local network by connecting the two local networks,” Newby notes.

When asked who the likely respondents to the CableLabs RFI are, Newby replied: “The usual VOIP peering suspects... as well as some carriers like Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) and, interestingly, some hardware vendors. Newport Networks plc (London: NNG) was one -- they make session border controllers.”

Representatives from CableLabs members Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Adelphia Communications , and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) chose not to comment on the peering initiative, referring questions to CableLabs. (See Comcast's VOIP Feature Creature.)

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed