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Re: WG: Article on ENUM Trials in Europe

  • To: (Stastny Richard)
  • From: Carsten Schiefner < >
  • Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 18:04:00 +0200 (CEST)

Mee, too! ;-) - From the most recent Communications Daily.

Best,

	Carsten

===

REGULATORY DEBATE AND FINANCES SLOW E-NUMBERING TESTS IN EUROPE
 
Trials for e-numbering (ENUM) services in Germany, U.K. and Austria
unveiled their start-up concepts last week at workshops in Berlin,
London and Vienna. With regulatory discussions and financial problems of
telecom and Internet industries hampering quick rollout of new phone
number domains, most of planned trials are behind schedule. "This could
be a wakeup call," said representative of Deutsche Telekom AG about a
Tues. ENUM expert roundtable organized by telecom industry association
BITKOM in Berlin. "We still have a long, long way to go to a full-grown
ENUM market," said Sabine Dolderer, board member of DENIC, registry for
German country-code top-level domain TLD) .de, which houses new German
ENUM-trial database.
 
 Hardware and software providers have been invited to participate in
DENIC trial and register geographical telephone numbers, mobile numbers
and 800 numbers under .9.4e164.arpa TLD. Telephone domains are intended
to enable convergence of telecom and Internet Protocol (IP) networks.
Customers of ENUM services will get access to wide range of possible
services, from simple international look-up services to communication
profiles or identity management, experts of European trials said. Year
ago, DENIC applied to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for
provisional delegation of German 9.4.e164.arpa TLD. But early move lost
momentum because of dispute between German Regulatory Authority for Post
& Telecommunication (RegTP) and Ministry of Commerce and Technology.
While RegTP contended it had to watch for competition and privacy
problems from beginning, Ministry decided to go for DENIC.
 
 "We certainly don't want to kill ENUM by overregulation" said
representative of Ministry after meeting in Berlin. For example, strict
German privacy regulation makes reverse look-ups, core function of ENUM,
per se illegal. As for ENUM competition, both RegTP and Ministry now say
trial won't in any way prejudice final ENUM market.
 
U.K. ENUM Group (UKEG) favors cooperation between possible Tier One
registry providers even just for duration of their trial. UKEG earlier
this week invited potential trial members for 4.4e164.arpa to ENUM
seminar at British Dept. of Trade & Industry (DTI). UKEG members NeuStar
(.biz and .us registry), Nominet and Centralnic all are candidates for
central database. Under UKEG proposal, they will cooperate for trial to
allow "different solutions to be tested and more organisations to gain
experience," even if in end DTI will choose single entity.
 
 James Reid, of domain name system (DNS) solution provider Nominum, and
member of UKEG, expects wide range of participants for U.K. ENUM trial.
"Expressions of interest have to be sent in by the middle of next
month," he said. Besides possible Tier One providers NeuStar, Nominet or
Centralnic, mobile providers Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens are on his
list, as well as companies such as Hotsip, vendor of server software for
Session Initiation Protocol and presence products. ENUM is viewed
potentially as big step forward toward bridging worlds of IP and
circuit-switched telephony. Richard Stastny, chief engineer of Telecom
Austria subsidiary Oefeg, said his company was focusing on setup of
Voice-over-IP servers for Austrian ENUM trial, which will involve end
users in Nov. "At this moment, we work heavily to fill our DNS servers
with the data and to test clients for data requests," Stastny said. He
plans to present results of first European ENUM trial start at the
VON/Tiphon conference in Atlanta 2 weeks from now, he said.
 
 The slow pace of ENUM development in Europe and internationally in
Stastny's view is mainly consequence of hard times telecom providers and
ISPs are experiencing. Investment in new technologies such as ENUM
services aren't in vogue now, he said, and convergence is viewed
anxiously by ISPs and former incumbents alike. "It is funny, that in
Austria ISPs are afraid of telcos, but in Sweden the telcos are afraid
of ISPs," Stastny said. Former incumbents like his company certainly
need to think of new business models, he said: "You have to accept that
you won't make money on mere data transportation. You need to think
along new business models." Stastny thus is optimistic, he says, that
ENUM in Europe now will gather steam. European ENUM trial operators from
Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. are
beginning to work on compatibility of ENUM clients. While cooperation on
technical level evolves, consensus on some political questions is
lacking. Together with Chinese and French ITU representatives, some
German RegTP officials continue to opt for an alternative to e164.arpa,
which they see as U.S.-dominated. "We would appreciate more
internationalization in the DNS in general," said representative of the
German Ministry of Commerce, "but at this moment we will not stop ENUM
anyway."




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