Friday, March 24, 2006

ENUM In Austria - another important step forward 

The commercial ENUM deployment in Austria started already in December 2004 with opening nearly all number ranges (geographic, mobile, corporate, non-geographic VoIP (720) and 800), with the exception premium rate numbers. In April 2005 the special ENUM-based number range 780 went into service. For more information see here. This number-range is directly linked to the corresponding ENUM entries and can be reached from the PSTN via any ENUM-enabled gateway (e.g. the one from Telekom Austria)

After an (to be expected) slow up-take now already 12 registrars are giving out numbers, see the wepage.

This week yesss, the discount daughter company of one (an Austrian mobile operator), already selling a pre-paid virtual mobile service, started offering a VoIP webfone service, based on ENUM, 780 numbers and SIP. And, as I always said, you cannot sell ENUM to an end-user, without even mentioning ENUM - you also do not explain how TCAP, INAP, SS7 and Query-on-Release works to somebody porting his number.

Nevertheless, the service is a VoIP service on the public Internet, you get an ENUM entry in, a SIP URI and you can be reached by anybody else querying ENUM or using the SIP URI. Of course yesss is also querying ENUM and delivering the call via VoIP and SIP if an entry is found for free.

As UA either a Soft-client may be downloaded via yesss, but you may use any other SIP SW or HW phone of your choice.

The only drawback of the 780 number range is that still some (other mobile) operators charge a fortune to terminate on this number range, others already charge normal local or national rates. It was basically a lapse from the regulator not to define a cap on the tariffs to these numbers, as some others do (e.g. Ireland) or are planning to do. And the Skype idiots are still not delivering calls to 780 (and also not to 720).

Considering that some other companies in Austria (e.g. Silver Server) are providing VoIP services on fixed lines together with xDSL access by porting geo-graphic numbers to VoIP, put them in ENUM and also query ENUM outbound, I really ask myself, why do we need IMS and walled gardens, QoS, managed networks, SPEERMINT, etc. It is working fine already. The Internet, ENUM and SIP is sufficient.

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