February 25, 2005
New ENUM-style peering system will accelerate advent of worldwide free calling.
Its objective is to eventually allow all telephone traffic to be routed over the public internet, thus eliminating the need for physical interconnects to the PSTN at any point in the call route.
The new peering service works via an international database created by e164.info, through which carriers can designate which phone service would deliver which calls to which destination phone numbers.
At launch time, 14 connected service providers have submitted more than 100 million phone numbers to the e164.info database. These phone numbers are spread over more than 160,000 different dialling prefixes covering 8 countries, including Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, the UK, and the USA.
The original ENUM concept, currently being evaluated under the auspices of the ITU, gives the end-user control over registration with the central database. But e164.info’s carrier version just uses ENUM for routing purposes, with end-users unaware that a DNS-lookup is made to reach their target called party.
Member companies have signed an MoU that ensures the non-profit character of the venture, making clear that they disclose bilateral agreements about charging for the interconnection. Some have said they will interconnect with every provider for free.
A big advantage of e164.info for carriers is that it allows them to stay in full control of a well-defined peering policy. Through a single mouse click, they can arrange and modify peering arrangements with all carriers connected.
[netzquadrat] GmbH was founded in 1998 by Tim Mois and Thilo Salmon, who founded the German VoIP provider sipgate/nufone, and is based out of Duesseldorf, Germany. Its main focus has been providing consumer information on the web. It has a European IP network of 5,000 km through which it offers a range of low level connectivity services such as IP, PSTN, SMS and VoIP to carrier customers. Carrier connection to e.164.info is free.