October 3rd, 2005

Neustar and .GPRS

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Ever since Neustar announced they signed a deal with GSMA to oversea global database for the mobile operators last week (see also Washington Post), there are many debates about the deal online.

“Neustar, a company that should certainly know better, has announced that they’re going to create a .gprs TLD to serve the mobile phone industry This, of course, requires creation of a private root zone, against the very strong warnings in RFC 2826” said Steven Bellovin.

To the more supportive John Levine: “This isn’t quite as stupid as it seems. The GSM industry needs some way to maintain its roaming user database, the database is getting considerably more complicated with 3G features, and it looks to me like they made a reasonable decision to use DNS over IP to implement it rather than inventing yet another proprietary distributed database.”

Even Paul Vixie who has been one of the most vocal opponents of alt. root chipped in, albeit in a slightly positive tone to many people surprise: “oh and one more thing. a small technical matter, insignificant next to the democracy-related points you raised. neustar isn’t doing anything wrong– the “root” they’ll operate will only be seen by GPRS cell towers, not by end-user handsets.”

Let’s start by clarifying what Neustar is doing1: they are providing a global distributed database for SIP URLs, especially for mobile operators who have implemented IMS (which is essentially modified SIP) using DNS technology. Specifically a variation of ENUM known as Infrastructure ENUM2 that differs from (User) ENUM in its policies: the numbers are delegated to carriers & operators and not end-users . The controversial is that they are using a new TLD called .GRPS using their own alt. root server and many people jumped at the word new TLD and “alt. root”.
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September 9th, 2005

Its all about Numbers

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Two news from IDA regarding numbers and numbers :-)

1. Public consultation on Number Portability (pdf)

IDA intends to review the implementation for number portability for fixed line and mobile telecommunications services in Singapore. The review is in with IDA’s policy objectives of promoting competition in the infocommunications sector to benefit of consumers and businesses in Singapore

What we have in Singapore now is “Call Forwarding” and we are trying to move to “Onward Routing” or “All Call Query”. Both will give us true number portability (ie, the Caller ID will match your number) but the difference is the efficiency of the system. If a small percentage of users do number port, then Onward Routing is more efficient and if a large percentage of users do number port, then ACQ will be more efficient.

2. IDA Announces Results for Numbers Auction & Launches ENUM Pilot Trial

The IP Telephony numbers auction and ENUM pilot trial is a follow-up from IDA’s launch of the IP Telephony and ENUM policy framework in June this year. The framework is designed to facilitate the entry of companies interested in offering IP Telephony services in Singapore and is expected to bring about reduced costs and more choices in providing telephone services.

On the auction, 4 operators got “3” level number (ie. +65 3xxx xxxx). Personally, I am fairly excited about this because this means we may likely to see at least 3 new VoIP operators (China Motion, I2U and SuperInternet Access) in Singapore hopefully soon :-)

April 9th, 2005

ESTI ENUM Plugfest


I am helping Richard to spread the word:

Dear All,

We are pleased to invite you to the ENUM interoperability event, 30th
May to 3rd June 2005 at ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France.

The emerging technology of ENUM is attracting a lot of interest. By
mapping telephone numbers to domain names, and from those to URLs, ENUM
will be a key driver for the increasing convergence between the internet
and telephony worlds.

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October 30th, 2004



Finally, 1.e164.arpa has been formed, according to the press release last night ;-)

For Immediate Release: Media Contact: Jackie Henson McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP 202-496-7549 jhenson@mckennalong.com

TOP TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNET COMPANIES FORM COUNTRY CODE 1 ENUM LLC TO FOSTER NEW INTERNET TELECOM TECHNOLOGY New Organization to Promote Development of Technology to Combine Internet with Traditional Telephony to Offer Streamlined Communication

Washington DC – (October 28, 2004) – Today, several leading telecommunications and Internet companies have announced the formation of a new organization, the Country Code 1 ENUM Limited Liability Company (CC1 ENUM LLC), to build the public infrastructure that will promote the development of ENUM technology in a single, carrier-class manner within the countries of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The countries of the NANP include the United States, Canada and the Caribbean nations.
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September 21st, 2004

IP Telephony and ENUM

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There is a APEC TEL NGN Brainstorming session this morning. I was one of the speaker for the session and did a presentation on IP Telephony and ENUM.


Singapore also made a contribution on both IP Telephony and Spectrum management. Both my presentation and Singapore contribution was well-received by the participants and I got a lot of feedbacks after the session.

IDA also announced a proposed policy framework for IP Telephony and ENUM this afternoon1 and it is open for public consultation! It is a long journey for our virtual team who has spend over a year on this!

As part of its continuing efforts to engage the public in policy development to benefit the infocomm industry, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) seeks views on the policy framework to facilitate the introduction of Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony and Electronic Numbering (ENUM) in Singapore…more

Some highlights:

1. IP Telephony will be classified under SBO(Individual) license instead of the more heavy FBO license.
2. Licensee is entitled to apply numbers in a new number block +65 3xxx xxxx.
3. Optional interconnection with PSTN, no QoS, no emergency service and no universal obligation.

It is as light touch as you can get … :-)

1 In other words, it is not announced by me.

2 There is also a short explaination of IP Telephony & ENUM.

September 2nd, 2004

Open Source ENUM SDK and Client

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Got this in my inbox from APEET mailing list :-)

JPRS released ENUM SDK and ENUM Client as Free Software. Please visit our Web site:

ENUM Info from JPRS
Software Libraries

ENUM SDK includes DLL for Windows and VB/VC++ sample code. ENUM Client is a reference application of ENUM using ENUM SDK.

Based on this development experience, Fujiwara who is my colleague, pointed out ambiguousness of rfc2916bis at Seoul IETF and now he is working on draft-ietf-enum-experiences-00.txt.


— Yoshiro YONEYA

August 4th, 2004

Day 4 at IETF

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Carrier ENUM is a disaster! Basically, I screwed up big time and failed to managed the time. Or perhaps I was stumbling (I notice I do that when I dont get enough sleep). Either way, what happened is that while we still taking strawpolls of requirements, before discussing next step, half of room suddenly stand up and walk out, hurrying to get to their muffins and coffee.

Looking back, it is pretty funny and I am taking this with a smile. ;-) For one, we achieve at least half the goals, in the sense that we know there are a bunch of people really interested in Carrier ENUM, and the other half don’t. And more importantly, we got some consensus on requirements and none on others. The interesting portions are those which we have no consensus because it goes to show how differ we are in what we think it is …

ps: Oh yea, Meng Wong took pity with my powerbrick and gave me his extra Apple adaptor for US. Thanks! :-)

August 2nd, 2004

Day 1 at IETF

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I am now at Sheraton in San Diego. The last time I was here is in 2000 for IETF #49. Nothing seem to change much but it appears almost everyone who is vacating in US is here in San Diego. I almost couldn’t get a hotel at all and have to stay at the Hilton 10mins from Sheraton.

I was lucky (or maybe it is due to my Silver Honor Hilton), I was given one of the best view in the hotel, top floor facing the sea from the open window. I think I am going to enjoy having breakfast from my balcony :-)

Oh yea, finally meet Henry Sinnreich. We have dinner tonight together with Richard^2 (Shockey and Stastny) and Wilriech (sp?) from Siemen and Andrew Leung (yea, was quite surprise to see him here). We have an interesting dinner discussion on SIP and ENUM, one that changed my perspective (again) of how the industry would be developing…

July 31st, 2004

Leaving for San Diego

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I am posting this from the SIA Lounge waiting to fly to San Diego for IETF #60. The main purpose there is to organize a “Carrier ENUM” mini-BoF with Richard Stastny on Wed afternoon. Carrier ENUM aka known as Infrastructure ENUM or Operator ENUM is a new way we notice carriers and operators starting to use ENUM to do “number resolutions” within their network or between carriers. It is quite different from what we envision how ENUM would be used in the first place (ie, individuals coming along and register their phone numbers) and many people expressed doubts whether ENUM could satisfy the requirements in the first place. It is going to be an exciting discussion.

Incidently, there is an interesting article at Telepocalypse regarding pay-and-keep settlement among US carriers in 4 years time. Such model is already been used in SMS but it could be pretty disruptive if carriers adopts it. Considering the operation cost to do minute-charging is more expensive then the settlement itself (due to falling prices in voice-calls), it does makes a lot of sense. More importantly, this will bring about a change in the business landscape in the voice market, one which could potentially bring more competitions to the market since carriers are not longer dictated by the most powerful incumbent termination charges.

It is also an inevitable development for the telecom market to transit from a 200B industry to 20B. Painful but neccessary.

ps: See my previous entry on how voice-termination are been done today.

April 7th, 2004


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I have a very interesting dinner last night with Michael Robertson and Jeff Bonforte, CEO and President of SIPPhone.com respectively. Most people will know Michael as the founder of MP3.com and Lindows. They are in town for their big announcement with Singtel. (Yes, 1-747-xxx-xxxx will be routed from Singapore soon :-)

It is a social dinner hosted by Richard Tan (Singtel) and we talk about life, travel, lobsters, basketballs and kids1. Of course, we also talk about cool SIP gadgets and ENUM. :-)

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