It’s often the case that, when new technologies or systems emerge, early adopters get on board for one of two reasons: the “coolness” factor, or to save money. This trend seems to be playing out in the voice peering marketplace.
In a blog entry earlier this year, Gary Kim (News - Alert) noted that in the early days of voice peering, there was a good deal of emphasis on how new IP interconnection options could save providers money or prevent disruptions in the voice business.
More recently, the market has moved beyond the basics of economics, as players begin to think more about how voice peering can streamline interconnect tasks (which are more complex with IP traffic than with traditional communications), and even further to developing platforms that can be used to introduce new types of services.
Kim stressed that the disintermediation advantages of voice peering still exist, of course, and cable companies in particular still put a lot of emphasis on how to avoid making interconnection payments to phone companies whenever possible. (This is similar to the way GSM-based mobile carriers seek ways to avoid transit costs.)
But, Kim said, new practicalities are emerging in the voice peering market. He quoted Arbinet (News - Alert) CTO Steve Heap as saying that the advantages of peering interconnections include the preservation of quality, reduced costs, and the ability to create new services.
Number porting, while mundane, is another problem that voice peering has the potential to solve.
Kim added: “since every operator has different termination rates, peering can help service providers determine what the settlement rate ought to be when a mobile call is terminated, where to send a call and make those sorts of decisions in real time. Peering can also help with the time-consuming but relatively mundane issues of negotiating termination agreements with hundreds of discrete carriers.”
Supporting new types of services is also an area where voice peering has great utility, Kim said, quoting Stealth Communications (News - Alert) CEO Shrihari Pandit, who pointed out that there are distinct advantages to terminating traffic without every touching the public switched telephone network (PSTN). In some cases, it is even impossible to hand off newer types of services using PSTN switches.
To learn more about the benefits of peering for service providers, please visit the Voice Peering channel on TMCnet.com, brought to you by Stealth.
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Mae Kowalke is senior editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Mae's articles, please visit her columnist page. She also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Mae Kowalke