Friday, October 22, 2004

Fall VON 2004 - Day 4 - Highlights

Since it was getting very late yesterday, this day started for me not so early, I was a bit late for Brough Turners (Sr. VP & CTO NMS Communications) Industry perspective on Accelerating the VoIP Disruption, I only saw the last slides, but I am already awaiting the download.

I changed over to the Enterprise Forum on The New IP Centrex, featuring a huge panel moderated by Carl with many different perspectives from ShoreTel, Natural Convergence, Sylantro Systems, Kagoor Networks, SBC Labs, Voxpath Network and BroadSoft.

Then I had to check my e-mails and had some chats, before the Keynote from Mark Spencer from Digium/Asterisk started. I was a bit early in the room and found out that I missed another interesting presentation from a Navy Guy from NMCI - the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. If plans by officials at the Navy and EDS work out, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet could soon become one of the largest systems using voice-over-IP technology in the world. They have targeted roughly 350,000 potential voice-over-IP users. That would make NMCI one of the biggest enterprise voice-over-IP deployments in the world.

So I googled a bit and found the following very detailed article: Voice over IP coming to NMCI - Navy network one of the biggest deployments of the technology.

Mark Spencer made his long awaited and alredy discussed presentation on the Distributed Universal Number Discovery (DUNDi). DUNDi is a peer to peer system for locating Internet gateways to telephony services. Unlike traditional hierarchical services such as ENUM, DUNDi is a distributed sysem with no centralized authority. An implementation of DUNDi exists in Asterisk, an Open Source PBX. For further information, see:

DUNDi Core Members
DUNDi Whitepaper
General Peering Agreement
DUNDi Internet Draft (not yet submitted)
DUNDi Best Practices
DUNDi Press Release
DUNDi Mailing List

More information can be found in a related article from the people at Voxilla.

Note: Links copied from the ITU-T website ;-)

I have not looked yet at DUNDi in detail, but as far as I can see it is not a replacement for (public) ENUM in, it is more part of the Carrier or Infrastructure ENUM scenarios, specifically of the shared datebase scenarios (see also my presentattion below). So it can co-exist definetely with (public) ENUM and also with Carrier ENUM. Because there may be problems with scalability, it cannot replace a global ENUM system, but it will allow efficient peering between con-federations of companies and also smaller providers. Depending on environment, a server may easily first query DUNDi and then either (public) ENUM or Carrier ENUM.

Very interesting was also the following dicussion, which gave me a slight time-warp feeling because I thought I was already 3 weeks ahead in time in Washington at the IETF. Jon Peterson, Rich Shockey, Cullen Jennings and I where lining up at the open mike of Carl. Cullen as IPTEL chair brought up the issue DUNDi vs. TRIP, because DUNDi is really more similar to TRIP then to ENUM.

I then went for lunch with Alex from Sentiro, the only company currently providing global Universal Personal Numbers, see my previous post. Sentiro are leading the way in the provision of Internet telephony and unified communications services. For more information visit and

Since lunch and interesting chats are always taking longer then expected, I was again a bit late for the Session on Clearing and Peering, so I missed part of the presentation from Jim Dalton, CEO, Transnexus, but I bet he presented the Open Settlement Protocol (OSP).

Next was Steve Heap, VP from Arbinet. His presentation was already discussed on the VoIP Peering list. He discussed the various possibilities and gave a very good overview. I had the impression that in most cases where settlement is involved the settlement cost more effort then the pure call transport, so you pay primarily for getting billed.

Tom Kershaw, VP Voice Services from Verisign stated clearly that clearing and settlement is history and Peering is the future (and I can only agree). He also tried to bring ENUM in the picture, albeit sowhat critical. This was already a peek preview on his presentation two hours later at the ENUM Update Panel.

The ENUM Update Panel was the last session of the day and the confernence. The panel, moderated by Michael Haberler started with Rich Shockey, Neustar and IETF ENUM WG Chair. There was the assumption made that after four years everybody in the room knew already about ENUM and about the basics, so Rich just gave an introduction on the current status and the positioning of (public) ENUM vs. Carrier ENUM. His presentation can be downloaded from here.

I followed with my presentation on "The Internet, the NGN and ENUM", where a gave a more detailed view on the differences of (public) ENUM and Carrier ENUM and some example scenarios involving the PSTN, the Internet and the NGN in a walled garden, and the problems related to this approach.

Michael Haberler presented the status of ENUM in Austria and the IP Communications logistics support for +43. Austria will launch commercial service within weeks for geographic, mobile, private network, freephone and two non-geographic number ranges, one general vor VoIP and one specific for ENUM. The numbering ordinance (KEM-V) and the contract between the Regulator as domain name holder and are in place., a sister company of (the ccTLD registry) will provide the Tier 1 Registry function and is currently setting up the infrastructure and also the required documentation and training for the Registrars and Validation Entities. The related documents can be found at or via the webpage, additional information can be retrieved from the trial site

Doug Rannalli, Founder of Netnumber presented his view on carrier ENUM, the use cases and the Netnumber portfolio. Sorry his presentation is not availble yet.

Finally Tom Kershaw gave a very critical view on (public) ENUM, mainly stating that either the opt-in model should be removed from (public) ENUM, or Carrier or Infrastructure ENUM will take over. The view is very extreme, IMHO (public) ENUM may co-exist, and in principle the ENUM-enable (or ENUM-only) numbers such as +43 780, or the UPT Number +87810 are Infrastucture Numbers. In addition, green-field operators may provide customers with new number ranges combined with opt-in at subscription time.

On the other hand I have to agree that endless trials, political games and slow movement (if at all) from regulators regarding the ENUM deployment have a potential to finally kill (public) ENUM.

This closed this session and the VON.

As a resumee I can say that this VON was really THE event of this year in VOIP and IP Communications, and it will take weeks to digest and recover and I am already looking forward to the next VON in Spring. Congratulations to Jeff Pulver and his team.

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