Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Australia's heavyweight telecommunications companies are largely ignoring a technology that maps telephone numbers to Internet services, with only relative minnows in the Internet arena demonstrating any enthusiasm.
While telecommunications companies might be hesitant, Melbourne-based domain hosting firm Instra is enthusiastic about the technology, which its chief executive Tony Lentino believes will become mainstream over the next five years.
Instra’s Lentino said the telecommunications heavyweights were more likely to try and hold back the technology.
"From a carrier's and Telstra's point of view, they don't want it… Obviously it's going to destroy their revenue, so they're going to stall it as long as possible," he said
Also here Carrier (or Infrastructure) ENUM is seen as an alternative:
The tipping point for ENUM to take off in Australia, according to Lentino, would be when VoIP saturation in the population reaches a certain level -- potentially 30 percent -- which would encourage VoIP service providers to start offering ENUM with their VoIP services.
"When one or two providers start to adopt it, anyone signing up for VoIP, would obviously want to go to a provider who's supplying ENUM versus a provider who's not," he said.
Even without the support of large carriers, the ENUM trial is making important strides. AusRegistry chief technology officer Chris Wright said one of the turning points in the trial's development so far had been the realisation that ENUM could be used for different purposes.
"One is as a personal number service for people to get all of their details together," he said. "The second use is as a VoIP routing protocol that can be used to facilitate termination of VoIP telephone calls across the Internet, or across private networks or across peered networks and so on."
This type of service -- dubbed 'infrastructure ENUM' by Lentino -- would enable VoIP providers like Engin or iiNet to link their networks together and avoid the need for VoIP-to-VoIP calls to (expensively) traverse the public switched telephone network at any point.