& cplSiteName &

Carrier ENUM Gains Ground

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

An industry is quietly forming around carriers’ use of ENUM, a standard protocol for resolving phone numbers into IP addresses. Originally developed to link consumers' phone numbers to various IP services, the protocol is instead proving useful for interconnecting carriers’ voice-over-IP (VOIP) networks.

The so-called carrier ENUM business is poised to take off in parallel with VOIP services. That’s because ENUM lets carriers interconnect VOIP networks directly and avoid access fees for transmitting calls over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) (see Cable Cadre Talks VOIP).

Consider the following hypothetical scenario. A user of Vonage Holdings Corp.’s VOIP service calls a user of 8x8 Inc.’s VOIP service, and the call must travel over AT&T Corp.’s (NYSE: T) PSTN network to get from one VOIP network to the other. As a result, Vonage incurs a fee. But if 8x8 puts its customers’ phone numbers in an ENUM registry, the call from Vonage can trigger a query to the registry, find the target phone number, and connect directly to 8x8’s network without crossing the PSTN.

The owner of that registry stands to make money from such interconnections. Just ask VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), which has made millions of dollars from its Domain Name System (DNS) business. On May 3, the company introduced MSO-IP Connect, a service that uses the ENUM and Call Management Server Signaling (CMSS) protocols to route VOIP calls between cable operators and other VOIP carriers through a secure system (see VeriSign Vamps Up VOIP). VeriSign charges an annual fee for the service. The company is developing ENUM registries to interconnect IP-PBX systems and wireless networks, too.

“There are islands of VOIP,” says Tom Kershaw, VP of next-generation networks at VeriSign. “And those islands need a trusted third party to connect with each other. When you default back to the PSTN, a lot of the features of VOIP don’t work, like you can’t do video or collaborative workflow. So, having an end-to-end VOIP connection is critical to enabling the service suite.”

Stealth Communications Inc., a New York-based ISP, in April added an ENUM registry to its Voice Peering Fabric (VPF), an exchange that lets VOIP carriers buy and sell minutes (see ENUM Registry Launches). With the new service, VOIP carriers can not only buy the right to route calls over each other’s networks, but also look up numbers on each other’s networks to interconnect calls. “There are about 1.2 million numbers in our ENUM registry,” says Shrihari Pandit, CEO of Stealth Communications, which charges a monthly fee for use of the VPF.

Some carriers are opting to run their own ENUM registries, and Lowell, Mass.-based NetNumber Inc. sells software that lets them do it. “Our vision has always been to use the basic ENUM standard to create a standardized base of products that can be used by operators and carriers internally for their own use or for use between carriers,” says Glenn Marschel, CEO of NetNumber.

Some of NetNumber’s largest sales have been to wireless operators that use ENUM to look up local number portability (LNP) information in other carriers’ databases. The protocol is also useful for transmitting Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages from one wireless network to another.

Such uses of ENUM stray far from the original purpose of the protocol, which was developed to enable public registries in which anyone could list their ENUM address and phone numbers (see Internet Gets Phone Numbers). By registering, people could establish a single address that could route calls to multiple VOIP phone numbers or IP addresses.

Standards bodies, government regulators, and industry consortiums have been testing public ENUM registries around the world for five years, but demand for such services has yet to materialize (see N. Americans Plan ENUM Directory). “No one has figured out why a user would want to register,” says Marschel at NetNumber. Though public ENUM efforts continue, carrier ENUM is on track to outpace it.

(Share your views on the Enum Phenum. Take our June Research Poll: ENUM: Vital for VOIP?)

— Justin Hibbard, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (6) comments

AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment

Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment

At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments

Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments

When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments

Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments

Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments

Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
LRTV Custom TV
ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments

Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
LRTV Interviews
Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments

At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
LRTV Interviews
Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments

Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments

By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
NFV, SDN, Big Data – It's All About Automation
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 7/21/2017
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future
Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 7/26/2017
What's a Little Throttling Between Friends?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/24/2017
The Hidden (Human) Cost of Automation
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/26/2017
BBC Head: We Must Reinvent Broadcasting for a New Generation
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.