Enterprise VoIPplanet.com hasn't written about peering (interconnection) between VoIP networks in some time. We did run a 21-article series on IP peering, starting from late 2006 to early 2007, but the industry has been pretty quiet since thenuntil last week, when we saw a significant announcement:
London-based XConnect, one of the top tier providers of peering, interconnection, and address [i.e., phone number] registry services has certified Massachusetts-based NetNumber's addressing and routing engine, TITAN, as XConnect Ready.
To step back and recap the fundamentals of IP telecom peering, the objective is for one network operator to be able to send IP-based calls (or other media transmissions) to the network of another operator, without routing the call over the PSTNas typically happens today.
This not only reduces call termination costs, it avoids the audio degradation that is inevitable when calls are trans-coded for TDM networks (the PSTN), and maintains across networks the integrity of such advanced IP-based functionalities as wideband audio.
To accomplish this, Operator A has to knowor find outwhat network the call recipient is on, and how to route the call there. Operator A may have this information in its own address/routing database; if not, it must locate the network of Operator B, and obtain the specific routing information on how to send the call thereagain, if possible, without routing over the PSTN.
Douglas Ranalli, NetNumber's founder and chief strategy officer, clarified this process for VoIPplanet.com. In the case in which Operator B happens to be "a member of an XConnect community," he explained, "you either have to download [i.e., purchase] data from the XConnect registry or dynamically reach out and query for information from the XConnect registry as part of an integrated address resolution model."
According to Ranalli, the interoperability testing done by the companiesbased on SIP signaling and ENUM queries with XConnect federationsdemonstrated "the ability for a customer to configure TITAN to reach out and query for XConnect routing data during the address resolution process."
"The TITAN server is the first addressing and routing engine that XConnect has certified," said Eli Katz, XConnect CEO and founder. "This [newly certified] interoperability will enable service providers utilizing TITAN to efficiently access XConnect registry information and interconnect to XConnect federations by enabling cascading queries from TITAN to the XConnect registry" he affirmed.
Katz continued, "With NetNumber as our partner, we are pleased to be working toward the goal of universal routing of voice, video, and converged applications between IP communication service providers, both fixed and mobile."
"For me," Ranalli commented, "[this certification] qualifies as one more valuable, important step along the way of making flexible addressing and routing in a SIP world a reality.
"Future Carrier-ENUM and number-portability implementations will depend on the smooth integration of routing data from multiple registry providers, and this certification moves us in that direction."