& cplSiteName &

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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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.
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.