Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment