The Irish Domain Registry (IEDR) has, through their subsidiary IENUM, announced the availability of telephone number mapping (ENUM), a service that maps telephone number to an online identity.
Although ENUM is not a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) function, it is essentially a mapping system that connects traditional phone numbers with VoIP addresses.
In this way, when somebody dials a traditional phone number they will be able to locate the user’s registered online partner, be it email or a VoIP number .
Austria was the first country to provide this ENUM registry service, with Ireland now being the seventh.
ENUM domains can now be registered at www.my-enum.ie for geographic telephone numbers , mobile phone numbers and 076 VoIP numbers.
After registration, ENUM-enabled software, such as Asterisk, Voxeo or PowerDNS, acts as a plug-in.
Although currently not available, ENUM users should soon be able to get an add-in for mail clients like Outlook Express, where instead of an email address you can simply type in a phone number.
David Curtin, chief executive of the IEDR, said: “The new ENUM service has the potential to encourage Irish business and consumers to adopt new, converged services to enhance their interconnection routing options by staying on-net, therefore reducing operational costs.
“The success of Skype, for example, gives an indication of the potential in this area.”
This service is a way for service providers to bypass call termination charges and for the end user it is a way to contact someone using email or VoIP when all you have is their phone number.
Conor Daly, network operations managaer for IEDR, said: “It allows the actual providers themselves to put in their block of phone numbers and register their block of numbers in ENUM. Then anyone who wants to call a number from within that block can do a look-up and find out where to send their calls.
“Rather than having to go through the traditional PSTN, they can do it all through the internet.”
Daly said that like all new technology or services, ENUM will be a slow burner with early adopters taking it up initially but that it will allow the move to next-generation networks.
By Marie Boran