Wednesday, October 24, 2007

VoIP Peering Panel at VON in Boston

Next Tuesday (Oct 30th) at the VON conference in Boston, I will be joining Ed Guy from Truphone and Eli Katz from XConnect on a panel to discuss ”Directories, ENUM and DUNDI”. Both of these gentlemen are VoIP Peering experts. Ed was the CTO for Free World Dialup and Eli is the founder and CEO of XConnect, a rapiding growing VoIP peering provider.

Our discussion will focus on different VoIP peering models, enabling technologies, trends and visions for VoIP peering in the future. Directories and ENUM technologies follow the classic model of a central database that provides route discovery for all users. It is a simple model based on sound economic principles - a central database offers economies of scale and positive externalities that benefit everyone. Nevertheless, there is a lot of market resistance to the centralized model - everyone is suspicious of the power and control ceded to a central routing authority.

DUNDi is a completely different model with decentralized route discovery. However, DUNDi offers the same positive externalities offered by a centralized database. By positive externalities, I mean that the benefit of using DUNDi grows as more endpoints join the DUNDi network. DUNDi, created by Mark Spencer, is a clever way to remove the objections to a central routing authority while keeping the benefits.

Unfortunately, neither ENUM nor DUNDi are rapidly gaining acceptance in the market place. The reason is because these technologies only address route discovery. A VoIP peering model requires more than just route discovery, VoIP peering also requires access control and economic settlement. Today these VoIP Peering functions are fulfilled by Session Border Controllers that are architectually identical to a class 4 switch in a PSTN inter-exchange network. This technique does not offer the benefits of ubiquitous direct peering between service providers. So part of our discussion will cover what is required to fulfill the VoIP vision for direct peering between any two VoIP networks globally.

I hope you will join us at Tuesday, October 30th, from 3:30pm – 4:30pm, in Room 209 at the VON conference in the Boston Convention Center.

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