This article originally appeared in the September issue of Internet Telephony Magazine.
In June 2008 the Voice Peering Fabric, a service of Stealth Communications (News - Alert), publicly announced its major components would be functionally separated, ushering in a new era in Voice Peering.
The original VPF model consisted of an internationally distributed Layer 2 Ethernet network built specifically to carry VoIP traffic. The VPF (News - Alert) has over 330 members and carries over 400 billion minutes of VoIP traffic annually of which approximately 2 billion is on-net, multi-lateral ENUM and SRV VoIP traffic. To access this massive VoIP market, a network operator needed to establish their own bi-lateral routes and agreements and also a dedicated Ethernet connection to the VPF – until now. As of right now access to the VPF Minutes Market, ASP Market for SS7 databases and the ENUM and SRV Registries are accessible via the public Internet too. Also, the VPF has added a trading engine for VoIP traffic based on Sansay (News - Alert) session border controllers for automated route matching – major changes in VPF functionality and philosophy.
In the past, the private Ethernet network was desired by many major global and domestic carriers for its security and QoS. More recently, many requests have come from smaller and remote network operators desiring VPF access, but who couldn’t justify, or realistically access VPF node sites. The impetus for change was to address this group and fill their needs. Note that members accessing the VPF via the public Internet will only be allowed to purchase, not sell, services on the trading platform.
There are also two other new dimensions to the VPF. First, the ENUM and SRV Registries are now open for communities to create their own sub-registries in which they can set their own rules. This is a huge step forward for the VPF to address the growing trend of social networking and how those communities communicate internally and externally amongst other communities. The ability to create specific rule sets also applies to the traditional carriers and voice service businesses wishing to continue to charge fees for termination to their endpoints. So, for instance, a CLEC, or MSO can create their own ENUM root in the VPF ENUM Registry and allow access through the look-up system to anyone agreeing to pay their set termination rate – an instant success, as it enables one-hop routing and no binary sales process. The VPF is already a liquid market.
The second new feature is the clearing and settlement of transactions. Through their commercial banking relationship with a major U.S. financial institution, Stealth Communications has essentially become a bank for the wholesale minutes business. Through deposit accounts, each organization with such an account is able to transact with the others securely and reliably, removing all risk traditionally associated with the wholesale minutes business. This is not only a fundamental change for the VPF, but more importantly for the entire voice communications industry, for there has never been such an automated, neutral and completely transparent platforms. The best part: the VPF won’t charge settlement or commissions, but will merely pass through wire-transfer fees. Now that’s a change that can be turned in to dollars for a shrinking margin voice business! (For more info, please visit www.thevpf.com.)
Hunter Newby, Chief Strategy Officer and Director of a special purpose acquisition corporation in the communications industry, writes the VoIPeering column for TMCnet To read more of Hunter�s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Greg Galitzine