IEDR consortium wins ENUM registry competition

22 Mar 2006

An Irish-Austrian consortium consisting of the IEDR and the Austrian domain registry service IPA has won the competition to provide Ireland with electronic numbering (ENUM) services that enable users to contact others by email, fax or mobile using a single fixed-line telephone number.

The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) this afternoon said that in addition to awarding the consortium with the right to operate the ENUM Tier 1 Registry, it has set up an industry ENUM Policy Advisory Board to ensure that ENUM moves from trial phase to full commercial launch.

ENUM services are expected to come on stream in the coming months, ComReg said.

ENUM, short for Telephone Number Mapping, is an internet protocol as well as a physical domain name registry architecture. It enables a variety of mechanisms to be used to contact a participating customer.

Users opt for the service on a voluntary basis and it is capable of giving you any type of address that a telephony consumer cares to register — be it a URL, an email address, fax number, mobile number or IP number.

It automatically returns the set of corresponding contact addresses when someone’s telephone number is entered, making it easy for service providers to automate a connection over the most cost-effective or efficient medium.

Many countries are currently carrying out ENUM trials but Ireland is now only the third EU country after Austria and Germany to move fully into commercial operation.

The UK is expected to follow suit later this year while the US will start next year after a 12-month trial, which is currently underway.

By John Kennedy