Light Reading

N. Americans Plan ENUM Directory

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
4/27/2004
50%
50%

Moves are being made in the U.S. to create an organization that will be in overall charge of a directory that will link phone numbers to URLs, and thus IP addresses.

The so-called Tier 1 North American ENUM (electronic number mapping) directory promises to play a key role in the development of VOIP services -- and hasten the day when users won’t need different phone numbers and email addresses to access services over different networks.

Operating the directory might also turn into a big business, possibly bigger than that of NeuStar Inc., the administrator of the telephony equivalent, and a likely bidder for operating the Tier 1 ENUM directory as well. Neustar has revenues of $92.4 million, according to Dunn & Bradstreet estimates.

The first step towards setting up such a directory is scheduled for June, when a group of North American telecom companies plans to form a limited liability company that will act as the contracting agency for the directory. The winner of the LLC’s contract will route all ENUM traffic for country code 1, which directs phone calls to the U.S., Canada, and 20 Caribbean countries.

The companies forming the LLC include AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and MCI Inc. (Nasdaq: WCOEQ, MCWEQ), together with unidentified cable companies, telephone companies, and ISPs. They're all members of the ENUM Forum, an open industry group, but the Forum itself has been kept apart from the LLC, so that it can't be accused of mixing technical and commercial issues.

The group aims to incorporate the as-yet-unnamed contracting agency by June, issue an RFP in the fourth quarter, select a vendor in the first quarter of 2005, and sign a contract by the second quarter of 2005. (The schedule is subject to change.)

According to the group’s current plan, the LLC will be a not-for-profit entity funded by fees from member companies. “As a vision in the back of our heads, we have the local number portability LLC in the U.S. and Canada,” says Karen Mulberry, senior project manager for numbering at MCI, who is heading up formation of the agency.

Like the local-number portability LLC, which appoints the local-number portability administrator for North America, the ENUM LLC will use its funds to draft an RFP, select a vendor, and oversee that vendor. Rather than paying a Tier 1 ENUM directory administrator for its services, the LLC will set guidelines for how the administrator is to charge customers for connections to its directory.

“Nothing has been decided yet, but the vendor would probably charge those registrars who are applying for telephone numbers to be registered within the Domain Name System, similar to what’s done when you register a domain name at .com or .net,” says Steven Lind, standards strategy manager at AT&T and an ENUM Forum member.

The Tier 1 directory for country code 1 will be connected to the root server, or “golden tree,” for ENUM, which links all country codes and is run by RIPE Network Coordination Centre, a not-for-profit regional Internet registry. The Tier 1 directory will route traffic between the root server and a lower tier of directories, which, according to one plan the ENUM Forum is considering, may be specific to each country under country code 1. Each country-specific directory, in turn, may connect to sub-directories for vertical industries or individual companies (see Cable Cadre Talks VOIP).

The ENUM LLC’s contract will have a limited duration (the exact length hasn’t been determined) and will be up for renewal periodically, ensuring competition. Formation of an industry-led contracting agency was first recommended by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which in 2003 sent a joint letter with the Federal Communications Commission to the ENUM Forum supporting the creation of an LLC.

Likely candidates for Tier 1 ENUM directory administrator include NeuStar, the North American Numbering Plan administrator and Local Number Portability administrator, and VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), the exclusive registry of domain names within the .com and .net top-level domains. “In my mind, the true competition is going to be at the Tier 2,” says MCI’s Mulberry. Beneath the Tier 1 directory, multiple country-specific and industry-specific directories will likely vie for traffic.

— Justin Hibbard, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones