Saturday, January 29, 2005

Domain Pulse Symposium next week near Vienna 

Domain Pulse is the most significant event in the German-speaking area with regard to contemporary issues, tendencies and trends around domain names. Together and alternate with the registries of Germany (DENIC) and Switzerland (SWITCH), will perform the next Domain Pulse symposium on 3rd and 4th February 2005.

The schedule organized by Richard Wein ( is quite impressive. Thursday will be dedicated to political issues and features prominent speakers from Austria, Europe, ICANN, IETF and ITU. Friday will be more technical and will have presentations and lectures on DNS, ENUM, DNSSec, IPv6 and SPAM.

Although most of the participants will speak German, a simultaneous translation in English will also be provided. This will open Domain Pulse to English speakers.

Note: Another reason may be ;-) "German is the common language separating Austrians and Germans (and the Swiss)" - Friedrich Torberg

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Back home In Vienna 

I must be Jeff and his crew. Jeff arrived late from the East coast in Nice on Monday, bringing with him the bad weather. Shortly after he arrived in Sophia Antipolis, it started snowing. I have been in Sophia Antipolis now for centuries, but this was the first time it was snowing and I also had never to scratch the ice from the car windows in the morning. Since also the car rental companies never expected this, I had to use my credit cards.

I met Jeff again at the airport in Nice and my flight was delayed also because of the bad weather conditions in Vienna. I finally ended up at home 3 hours late and this morning my house looked like this:

Back home in Vienna Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Pulvers IP Communications Industry Executive Summit 2005 

The last three days I spent at Jeff Pulvers IP Communications Industry Executive Summit 2005 in Sophia Antipolis in France at ETSI. I was honored to be invited again by Jeff to participate and speak at this event. I really enjoyed this event, because it is an excellent starter for the upcoming year after Xmas and New Years vacations to get sync'd up again on what is going on in the industry. The important issue is that there is not only excellent speakers giving frontal presentations, but also heated and open discussions because of the excellent mix of the participants from all over Europe and North America. Even Niklas Zennstrom called in for half an hour via Skype to answer questions. In addition, since Jeff was a generous host as usual, there was also the possibility to do extensive networking over lunch and dinner. I even won 50 Euros in the casino ;-) - all in all a perfect week.

Monday, January 24, 2005

VoIP Google or Not To VoIP Google? 

Maybe one should google Google about Google. ;-)

In this news story, Google denies entering the VoIP space

But here are some other sites fueling the Google VoIP speculation...

So it is still mere speculation?

Jeff Pulver tackled the issue from another side:

A quick check at the Spring 2005 VON delegate database shows that a number of Google executives in fact will be joining us in San Jose in March.

Maybe Google is 'just interested' in VoIP. I suspect there may be something more to this. :-)

Googles free VoIP in UK 

The community started to wonder one week ago why Google looked for dark fiber experts.

The where a lot of opinions, but finally Tom Keating got it right.

Finally the story was released one week later at The Times:

The company behind the US-based internet search engine looks set to launch a free telephone service that links users via a broadband internet connection using a headset and home computer.


Mr Hewitt from Ovum said that a Google telephone service could be made to link with the Google search engine, which already conducts half of all internet inquiries made around the world. A surfer looking for a clothes retailer could simply find the web site and click on the screen to speak to the shop.

Pulver meeting without Jeff? - No way 

The Pulver 2005 Executive Summit had to open today without Jeff, Carl and Jonathan being there, because of the blizzard at the East Coast. So the interesting agenda had to start without the usual opening remarks from Jeff, but finally Jeff and his crew arrived save, but somewhat exhausted, at noon in Sophia Antipolis at the ETSI premises, just in time for lunch.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Two ETSI drafts on ENUM approved today 

ETSI TISPAN WG4 finished 2 drafts on User ENUM and on Infrastructure ENUM (Carrier ENUM) this week and got workgroup and TISPAN plenary approval today.

ETSI DTS 102 172 V2 "Minimum requirements for interoperability of ENUM implementations"

contains general guidance on (User) ENUM implementations as defined in RFC3761 and in ETSI TS 102 051 “ENUM Administration in Europe” and the specification for:
  • The format, contents and meaning of the information in the NAPTR records that are held by the ENUM Tier 2 Nameserver providers and accessible by DNS.
  • The ways in which ENUM client software should interpret and act upon information obtained from NAPTR records.
The document is intended to enable interoperability between ENUM implementations that are organized in different countries. This interoperability enables:
  • The same ENUM client software to work with NAPTR records generated by different national implementations and this in turn will enable applications that use ENUM to access details of ENUM subscribers in more than one country without additional modifications.
  • Organizations to function as ENUM Registrars and ENUM Tier 2 Nameserver Provider in more than one national implementation.
The document will therefore add economies of scope to the ENUM implementations that will benefit ENUM subscribers, providers, application service providers and ENUM users.

The present document is Version 2 of the Technical Specification (TS) and incorporates already some results obtained from trials performed in some countries. It may serve therefore also as a basis for first commercial deployments, keeping in mind that still not all enumservices are available as IETF RFCs and registered with IANA.

The intention is to review this document based on the experience gained from future implementations and if necessary.

ETSI DTR 102 055 "Infrastructure ENUM"

This document identifies a range of issues which occur if providers of communication services and networks (called Communication Service Providers (CSP) within this document) consider using the concepts developed in RFC 3761 (ENUM) for infrastructure purposes. Such an approach would result in the application of the ENUM concept to the provision of information for routeing (both internally and for the interconnection of networks – also called peering), including information for number portability, freephone and other number or address translation capabilities, SMS and MMS, etc.

It considers the likely steps along the way and where possible, identifies alternative options and approaches. It will specifically identify:
  • issues which occur if providers of IMS-based NGNs consider peering traffic with each other via Points-of-Interconnect based on IP technology, by using E.164 numbers to address end-points they are hosting for their subscribers,
  • issues which occur if providers of IMS-based NGNs consider peering traffic with other providers e.g. IMS-based PLMNs and also with providers on the Internet.
Out-of-scope are requirements for using Infrastructure ENUM for peering of transit traffic not targeted for end-points within the providers control.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Yankee Group: Alternative VoIP Providers squeezed between Telcos and Cable MSOs? 

Tom Keating has an interesting entry on his VoIP Blog, he is also providing the executive summary of the report:

Yankee Group VoIP Marketshare

Yankee Group VoIP Marketshare

Yankee Group just announced a very interesting report essentially saving that single-play (vs. Triply Play) players such as Vonage, Packet8, Lingo, etc. are in trouble in 2005, as seen in the graph - Blue is Vonage, Packet8, etc. I made a similar prediction in my 2005 VoIP Predictions.

I have also stated various times that providing fixed line PSTN replacement services only is NOT enough for VoIP providers, especially in a shrinking market. What is needed is new, innovative, nomadic and mobile IP Communication services including vioce, video, IM and presence. The future will be personal, mobile, wireless, nomadic and portable communications.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Viral communications, viral radio and organic networks 

The Internet was basically designed according to the end-to-end principle. After 50+ years of packet-networks, 20+ years of mobile radio communications, 15+ years of the WWW and 5+ years of IP real-time communications and WiFi the time seems to be ripe to put all the pieces together, using peer-to-peer (P2P) and wireless meshed networks.

P2P communications started with file sharing for audio and video (e.g. napster, kazaa,
bittorrent, ...). Skype introduced the principle to IP real-time communications and the success of Skype caused some of the SIP-Gurus (e.g. Henning Schulzrinne and Henry Sinnreich) also to think about P2P SIP.

Viral communications derives directly from the end-to-end
principle on which the Internet is based — the intelligence is in
the end nodes, the network itself maintaining as little state as
possible. As defined, the Internet is not optimised for any
particular use or communications requirement, it merely
forwards packets on a ‘best-effort’ basis. This principle kept
the Internet open to innovation by reducing the architectural
impact and cost or risk imposed on the development of any
new application; applications could start small and propagate
by pure popularity, no core change was needed, and no
innovation had to be debugged well enough to ensure that it
had no adverse impact network integrity.

Gordon Cook from Cook Report pointed me recently to a paper on Viral Communications from David P. Reed and Andrew Lippman (MIT Media Laboratory Reseach), which was written already more then one year ago. David is also blogging together with Bob Frankston and Dan Brincklin at

From the abstract:
Communications are poised to become personal, embedded features of the world around us. New technologies allow us to make wired and wireless devices that are ad hoc, incrementally installed and populous almost without limit. They need no backbone or infrastructure in order to work — instead, they use neighbors to bootstrap both bit delivery and geolocation. This re-distributes ownership of communications from a vertically integrated provider to the end-user or end-device and segregates bit delivery from services. Communications can become something you do rather than something you buy. This new research program explores the enabling principles for these viral communicators and will demonstrate their fundamental ability to scale and automatically configure themselves through a diverse set of applications including live voice, secure transmission, lowpower/high-availability signaling, and sensors with a sense of place. We will address this in economic and social cases that include telephony, media distribution, safety and emerging markets.

I contacted David for more information and he pointed me to another document on from A. Lippman and A. Pentland, which deals with the broader embedding of the viral work in human networks (the bigger vision) and is called "Organic Networks":

The topic of organic networks derives from the confluence of two distinct bodies of research that have been proceeding independently in the MIT Media Lab for the past several years — ‘Viral Networks’, which focuses on the enabling technology underpinning end-to-end, grassroots communications systems, and ‘Influence Networks’, which encompasses ways that both first-world and third-world societies bend the technology of easy connectivity to suit their own economic, cultural and social interests. While the general method of research in the Media Laboratory (semi-autonomous groups following largely independent research tracks) implies that these two themes are somewhat segregated, their intersection carries implications and lessons in and of itself that are too strong to be ignored — hence this co-ordinated set of papers.

This paper and the set of papers mentioned above from this cross MIT sponsored programm have been published in the October 2004 issue of BT Technicology Journal

All the documents (about 27 papers) may be downloaded.

David also pointed me to the group website and the cross-MIT sponsored program
Andy and David have launched with Dave Clark and Charlie Fine called the
Communications Futures Program, which focuses on the evolution of
the architecture of the communications industry (website under

Press Release: targets IMS 

via [ Announce]

January 15th, Berlin, Prague -- iptelorg GmbH, leading SIP
server vendor, expands its reach to the IMS market. After
establishing leadership on the ISP market iptel began to
develop a server suite for use in next generation mobile
networks. On January 15th, iptel opened up a new
development center in Prague which will be fully focused
on creating a standard-compliant highly scalable IMS

Jiri Kuthan, CTO at iptel, said: "SIP success in the ISP
market has gained market's confidence in our technology.
The SIP VoIP technology is borderless and we are only
a baby-step ahead of implanting our ISP experience to the
IMS market."

About iptelorg

iptelorg GmbH, Berlin based company spun off from Fraunhofer,
is provider of leading high-performance server solutions for
SIP providers. The servers can be used for Internet telephony,
instant messaging and presence and other interactive Internet
services. iptelorg's customer base spans from ISPs to ASPs
worldwide serving the consumer market. Nearly all SIP services
in Germany rely on iptel's infrastructure. The company
announced recently major roll-outs such as Earthlink and was
named to Pulver 100.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

VoIP will hit Euro telcos hardest - 

via VoIP Watch

European telecom operators will be hit the hardest by the fast and accelerating uptake of Voice over IP (VoIP) services such as Skype that route voice calls over the internet - both fixed and mobile operators, according to a newly published study from research firm Evalueserve.

The reason is that European operators are relatively highly exposed because calling and roaming rates, as well as the share of roaming calls, is higher, and local calls are charged by the minute.

In contrast, the study found that the flat monthly telephony fee model prevalent in countries such as the US was less likely to be affected by VoIP providers.

Andy argues that:

I actually think the RBOC's flat rate customers are prime to switch. Here's why. They are early adopters, not laggards. Over time they want the best. They are price savvy, so VoIP offers appeal to them easily, and they likely already have the features they want now available with VoIP. By shedding the local line costs they save at least $10.00 or so, and avoid taxes. That's why the RBOC's have to be concerned about the Vonages and CallVantages of the world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

NO kangaroos in Austria 

During my last post I googled Australia and ENUM and found the following entry on
Steven Forrest's weblog about the often troublesome intersection of regulation and technology innovation:

Troublesome is true - I should send him a T-shirt ;-)

Australia Rolls Out ENUM Services; U.S. "Stalled"

While ENUM - they tying of telephone numbers to Internet Protocol addresses, a potential boon to the growth of Internet telephony - is described as "stalled" in the United States, it is being rolled out in Australia "with a light regulatory hand," according to a story published April 12 in Washington Internet Daily, an online newsletter. One would hope U.S. regulators would watch and learn from the Australians.

The story isn't available from the newsletter's website, but is available via Lexis-Nexis. Here is a very brief excerpt...

Austria is ready to be "first to jump the cliff" into commercial e-numbering (ENUM) services, Internet Foundation Austria (IPA) Chmn. Michael Haberler told us. A 2-year commercial phase will launch this year, overseen by the country's Broadcasting & Telecom Regulatory Authority (RTR) and with providing registry services, said Georg Serentschy, RTR managing dir.-telecom section. The plan flies in the face of claims ENUM isn't ready for prime time in Europe because technical and regulatory issues aren't resolved. Because no one knows how ENUM will develop, Serentschy said Thurs., regulators are exerting a light touch.

ENUM activities don't fall within Austria's telecom act because it specifically excludes domain names from RTR's authority, Serentschy said. However, he said, early on the govt. applied for for its ENUM domain name because it recognized the relationship between telephone numbers and ENUM services. As the domain owner, RTR sets rules for its use.

Austria ran an ENUM trial, but it's shifting to a commercial rollout in the late 3rd quarter or early 4th quarter, Serentschy said. The phase is limited to 2 years because "one of the things we want to find out" is what the ENUM service will look like, he said. will have the right to operate the registry during that time, he said, but if ENUM proves popular, others may be allowed to bid on providing registry services. Extensive discussion in the U.S. has concerned whether there should be multiple registries as well as registrars. Austria is most likely to go with a single registry and several registrars, Serentschy said, but it depends on the market. It's not clear who will be most interested in ENUM - consumers, businesses or both, he said. Until that's known, the govt. doesn't want to overload the emerging service with regulatory constraints, he said.

The only regulatory action the govt. has taken is to dedicate a new number range - 780 - for ENUM services, Serentschy said.

U.S. regulators ought to watch what Australia is doing - and not doing - about ENUM, and learn from it.

As Computer Business Review reported April 7:

Public deployment of ENUM, the three-year-old standard for using telephone numbers over the internet, is still a way off in the US, despite the fact that many people think it will be an essential component of widespread voice over IP adoption.

The US government came out in favor of accelerating ENUM plans in February 2003, but little has happened since, as the telecommunications, cable and internet industries try to hammer out the details of how implementation should happen.

Interested parties organized into a group called the ENUM Forum have agreed that the best way to introduce ENUM in the US would be to form a limited liability corporation, which would receive contractual authority to run ENUM from the government.

But there is still disagreement over how the ENUM registries contracting with this LLC would be required to operate. The complex issue takes into account political boundaries and competition and revenue concerns.

ENUM Delegation for CC +61 (Australia) approved 

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has selected AusRegistry International Pty Ltd ("AusRegistry"), a wholly owned subsidiary of AusRegistry Pty Ltd, as the Registry Service Provider for the Australian ENUM trial. The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) represent Australian interests at the ITU and have endorsed AusRegistry to have the use of the +61 delegation for the term of the ENUM trial (so it is again a ccTLD)

AusRegistry requested a delegation for the ENUM domain name zone corresponding with the Australian E.164 country code +61 from RIPE NCC. This delegation will enable AusRegistry to commence the trial of ENUM in Australia.

The ITU-TSB confirmed that the request for ENUM delegation of code 61
has been authorized by the concerned national Administration and the
delegation may proceed when RIPE NCC receives formal confirmation from the
Director of TSB.

More on ENUM in Austrialia see here (a bit outdated)

What will you use for your Main Phone Line this year? 

Hi everybody out there - I am back again after an extensive vacation and trying to catch up with e-mails, blogs etc. and to re-sync myself with the current status of discussion on the future of communications. I have only one week time, because next week I will be in Sophia Antipolis at ETSI TISPAN and the week after there will be the Pulver IP Executive Summit 05, and I have a presentation there and everybody is expecting some intellegent statements from me ;-)

My topic is:

100+ Years vs. 10+ Years
Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 11:15am - 12:00
The traditional network supports services that the government has seen as important, such as emergency services, wiretapping, and lifeline services. Should VoIP be subsidizing these activities in the same way? Or should new structures be put in place?

· How have the requirements changed thanks to wireline and wireless?
· What is the expectation for integration technology?
· Are the differences in the countries’ standards forcing delays?
· Will a common infrastructure be needed? How should it be paid for?

Good questions, any answers? (especially for the last one ;-) is trying to find out what normal people are thinking about this by launching a poll:
What will you use for your Main Phone Line this year?

The results are very interesting sofar:
From approx. 2000 votes
43% will keep their traditional landline
24% will use cell phones (this may by US centric)
only 2% will switch to cell phone !!?
12% will continue to use VoIP ! (Skype?)
and 13% is planning to switch to VoIP !

If this is true, 25% will use VoIP as Main Phone Line End of 2005!

Even if one considers the vote somewhat biased (non Internet users are not voting), this is still astonishing.

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