Pilot programme achieves successful traffic exchange PathFinder™ brand name announced First certified vendors appointed
November 17th 2008, Macau: The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for the mobile industry, and NeuStar (NYSE: NSR) a provider of clearinghouse and directory services to the global communications and Internet industry, today announced the successful completion of the pilot of their Carrier ENUM service. The service, recently branded ‘PathFinder’™, is now generally available to mobile and fixed network operators, carriers and related service providers.
Supported by Bharti, Lleida.net, mobilkom austria, SMART, Telekom Austria, Telecom Italia and Telenor, the PathFinder service pilot achieved an industry first by successfully exchanging international packet voice and MMS traffic enabled via a global, fully-interoperable deployment of Carrier ENUM, validating ENUM as an effective solution to IP-based routing and interconnection. The service automatically translates a phone number into an IP-based address, making it simple and transparent for users to initiate a wide range of IP-based communications via their existing phone numbers and handset address books.
“We found this trial tremendously useful in familiarising ourselves with the practicalities involved in using ENUM. Cooperation between operators is crucial in establishing how to make the telephone number a universal means to link up with IP-based applications. A simple, standardised process will benefit everyone,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, President and CEO of Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) and GSMA board member.
By providing mobile and fixed-line operators with a single routing mechanism, PathFinder simplifies and reduces the cost of delivery of a wide range of IP-based services to end-users. It will serve as a central ‘directory’ for all operators, and enables them to rapidly launch new IP services including packet voice, Instant Messaging (IM), MMS, email, and video, by facilitating the linking of an IP address to a phone number for mobile devices, fixed-line phones and IP devices.
“The successful testing of ENUM on Telekom Austria’s next generation environment demonstrates yet again that the infrastructure is ready for commercial customer pilots. With the ongoing improvement in capabilities of our global GRX/IPX platform, recently enhanced by the Carrier ENUM functionality, we are able to provide best-in-class interworking solutions for mobile network operators,” commented Boris Nemsic, CEO of Telekom Austria Group and GSMA board member.
Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA added: “PathFinder will accelerate the rollout of innovative IP-based services that will be the key to ensuring profitability in tomorrow’s industry. PathFinder provides a one-stop solution for operators to overcome the complexity of delivering IP-based services to communications devices. Furthermore, it helps mobile operators to cut costs and leverage their greatest asset: subscriber phone numbers.”
GSMA and NeuStar also announced that Acme Packet and iXLink, a business unit of Telarix, have become the first vendors to successfully complete the PathFinder vendor certification programme, launched as part of the GSMA Industry Partner Programme earlier this year. The Partner Programme initiative is designed to foster working relationships with companies offering products and services complimentary to the PathFinder service, and provides certification of technology vendors, ensuring that PathFinder interoperability testing is available industry-wide.
Further Operator Support for PathFinder
“Bharti Airtel’s participation in the carrier ENUM pilot programme paves the way for leveraging Carrier ENUM to create a collaborative ecosystem to route voice and data freely amongst operators. The GSMA PathFinder service will enable a far richer variety of applications and establish the telephone number as a universal means to link up IP-based applications on different networks globally,” said Dr Jai Menon, Director, Technology & Customer Service, Bharti Airtel and Group CIO, Bharti Enterprises.
Sisco Sapena, Executive Director at Lleida.net, added: “This new service enables, for the first time, real convergence of services on a worldwide level. The GSMA Pathfinder Service minimises the existing national barriers to real number portability. With this service, query methods will be much faster and more efficient, providing a better service for everyone.”
Notes to Editors
Formerly called the GSMA’s Number Resolution Service, PathFinder is a so-called “Private” or “Carrier” ENUM solution and will include a global master root directory. “Private” or “Carrier” ENUM solutions are an enabler used by operators to associate the phone numbers of subscribers with the IP addressing information of the subscriber’s IP based services. This information is populated by the operator on behalf of the subscriber and is not made available to 3rd parties except for the purposes of routing. The system enables IP-based calls and messages addressed to a subscriber’s phone number to be delivered. The system affords subscribers the same levels of control and privacy that they currently enjoy with existing telephone services.
PathFinder will enable operators to exchange ENUM data via a common commercial and technical framework, facilitating the rollout and interconnection of IP-services across network boundaries. Based on tried and trusted DNS technology, this Carrier ENUM service will enable operators to route and exchange IP traffic of any kind using telephone numbers.
“Public” ENUM is an open internet based number translation directory where consumers can publish their addressing information.
PathFinder refers to the managed service, based on carrier ENUM, being deployed by the GSM Association and NeuStar.
PathFinder is designed to co-exist with public ENUM systems.
The GSMA selected the clearinghouse and directory services provider NeuStar to manage the Pathfinder service on the GSMA’s behalf, following a competitive evaluation process.
An image of the new PathFinder logo is attached.
About the GSMA
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association’s members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections – over 86% of the world’s mobile phone connections. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.
The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers.
NeuStar (NYSE: NSR) is a provider of clearinghouse and directory services to the global communications and Internet industry. Visit NeuStar online at www.NeuStar.biz.
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