Friday, April 15, 2005

Austria starts with the ENUM-based number range 

Austria started in December 2004 as first country worldwide with the commercial deployment of ENUM. In this phase existing geographic, mobile, corporate and national-portable (nomadic) numbers could be registered.

The next step will be the opening of the ENUM-based number range +43 780. The Austrian Regulator RTR announced today together with, the Austrian ENUM Registry,that the opening of the number range for service will take place on May 17th, 2005 at 12 pm. From this time subscribers may register individual numbers on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The ENUM-based number range was defined in the new numbering ordinance (KEM-V) issued 12.05.2004 and is intended for convergent services. The numbers in this range may be reached both from the public Internet and from the PSTN and are linked with the related ENUM domain. Calls from the PSTN are routed via SS7 to VoIP gateways enabled to query ENUM to find out the SIP or H.323 URIs of the destination. On the Internet the End-user may query ENUM directly or via a SIP proxy or gatekeeper to find the destination.

So what is the advantage of this ENUM-based number range?

Unlike "normal" E.164 numbers the usage of these numbers is not bound to the provision of a telephone service.

The number range is specifically targeted for communications service providers offering only VoIP and related real-time communication services to provide their customers easily and swiftly with globally reachable E.164 numbers to be reached from the PSTN and also with an ENUM domain. The only pre-condition is to provide their customers with a SIP or H323 URI.
Some will like to hear this, some may not ;-)

The subscriber simply requests the delegation of an ENUM domain in this range via an accredited ENUM Registrar. This registration triggers automatically the number assignment, so no validation is required, one of the major draw-backs of ENUM registrations of already existing numbers.

On the other hand the end-user may control the associated ENUM domain and change the NAPTRs pointing to his VoIP service at any time, thus "porting" from one provider to another.

But the number range also offers benefits to the conventional telcos on the PSTN, because they may provide their own gateway to route these number ranges and keep the money from the calling user, because no cascading takes place and no terminating fees need to be paid out.

ENUM allows the global connectivity between customers of different providers without the need of bilateral agreements both on the Internet and also from the PSTN.

This service is the first to truly implement the horizonal layered model of the future, separating transport, call set-up and applications. These open possibilities will enable an abundance of new and innovative services and applications for the end-users.

Did I understand that correctly: I just register such a domain, point it to my SIP URI, and then I am reachable through the PSTN without any of the complex contracts necessary between PSTN carriers?

That would mean that carriers without a gateway have to route the call to a carrier with a gateway.

Or does it just mean a PSTN carrier who has a gateway MIGHT connect the call, and most carriers (who don't have a gateway) will just not connect it?
Correct. Please read the KEM-V on

Carrier (in Austria) MUST route the call to a carrier with a gateway or provide their own. In Austria routing to all existing numbers is mandatory for all carriers (this is not the case in some other countries).

Calls from other countreis should be routed by default either to Austria (+43) or the carrier MAY lookup +43780 an route it to a local gateway.

It is assumed that if more of such numbers pop up in other countries that this will be the case, because you may route ANY of such numbers to the same gateway.
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