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Year-End Ruminations


VoIP Feature Article


December 17, 2007

Year-End Ruminations

Hunter Newby, Chief Strategy Officer

It has been another year and another couple of hundred billion VoIP minutes. As 2007 comes to a close it makes sense to reflect on what makes sense. VoIP peering certainly exists, works and is a big success, but it is not limited to numbers, or end-point to end-point resolution, or in other words, ENUM, SRV, or any other endpoint identifier. The truth is that that vast majority of VoIP “calls” are actually TDM using IP for trunking. It probably will be that way for sometime, but the trend is certainly to bring everything in to the IP domain and eliminate disparity, so endpoint resolution will definitely grow.

This is my reflection on the past year and prediction for 2008 and beyond, but what about the real key people involved in the VoIP Peering business? To get the best reflection and outlook I posed two questions that were not limited to technology, service, product, etc. to five executives directly in, or related to the VoIP industry. The questions had no predefined limits and could relate to anything that enables, enhances, or supports VoIP Peering.
Here are the questions:
What do you believe was the most important development with VoIP Peering in 2007?
What do you believe will be the most important development with VoIP Peering in 2008?
Here are the answers:
  1. The most important development of 2007 in voice peering was the legitimizing of open standards telephony platforms in the corporate market which has pushed the opportunity for private VoIP peering at the individual company level. This opens the door to re-engineer significant portions of corporate telecom and drives substantial cost savings.
  2. I believe that 2008 will be the year that major carriers will embrace peering environments as a market to deliver their services. This will further the carrier hotel as the “telco colo” and will continue to rewrite the book on corporate telco infrastructure.
– Bryan M. Johns, Partner, Shelton Johns Technology Group
  1. The most important development in 2007 was the realization, by one of the industry’s key players, that stand-alone, isolated registries can not survive. It makes no sense for a single call attempt to query 5 widespread registries in the hope that one of them may have a response — the only realistic answer is for a distribution engine such as SPIDER to push all relevant data down to the originating service provider from all available registries.
  2. The most important development in 2008 will be consolidation among the various competing registries!
– Steve Heap (News - Alert), CTO, Arbinet
  1. The biggest peering-related development of 2007 is the movement by the U.S. cable industry and the global GSM association to create their own private peering infrastructure.
  2. The biggest 2008 development will be the actual deployment of the GSM fabric, as that represents more than two billion active numbers. Though the initial drive is transit cost savings, the financial importance of mobility-based applications could start to emerge in 2008 as well.
– Gary Kim, COO, Dagda Mor Media, IP Business Magazine (News - Alert)
  1. IETF standards moved strongly forward, with Federation based multilateral interconnection. Defined and structured major Tier 1 and NGN/IMS based communication operators launching or issuing RFPs for advanced ENUM Registry services and other Federation-based interconnection services. Solid growth in Registry and traffic growth amongst the registry and federation providers.
  2. Peering for New Services; Video/IM. A wide set of new Private Federations (registry and/or signaling), announced and launched round the world. New security, identity, privacy and multi-protocol interoperability features required.
– Eli Katz (News - Alert), CEO, XConnect
  1. The most important development in 2007 was the integration and, or availability of peering functionality in popular gateways, session controllers and proxy servers. This caught the attention of service providers to start peering calls over their own IP network rather than sending them out via SS7/TDM.
  2. 2008 will be a year organizations will determine what type of VoIP marketplace and peering systems are best suited for their needs. There will be a stronger emphasis on VoIP Peering security and quality attributes to achieve a greater “quality of experience”.
– Shrihari Pandit (News - Alert), CEO, Stealth Communications, The Voice Peering Fabric
It is interesting to see important developments listed as open standards, eliminating disparity and systems integration in the same group as private peering. Private registries could be interpreted as being closed and creating disparity, but in fact it show where we all are in the evolution. At this point any movement in the direction of VoIP peering is welcome, but as Steve Heap pointed out, at some point distinct Registries need to communicate to maximize the utility of the technology.
These are all excellent views on the VoIP peering market and I thank the participants! Next year we will look back on these predictions to see where 2008 got us.
Hunter Newby (News - Alert) is chief strategy officer for telx. For more information, please visit the company online at


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