2003 August

August 2003


Here\’s a lot of good reading:

On August 25-26, 2003, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and the ITU organized a joint workshop on ENUM and Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) in Bangkok, Thailand. All materials are posted on the workshop web site.

Minnesota recently decided that VOIP providers like Vonage, Iconnethere and Sipphone should be under the same legislation as any telephony provider. One problem with that legislation is that any telephony provider has to support 9-1-1 calls.
It doesn\’t sound as hard. The problem is that in most countrys and states, the telco has to route the 9-1-1 call to the closest call centre, based on the callers location. With Internet Telephony, there\’s no way to decide where the caller is. One SIP account may have a telephone with a VOIP gateway logged in at home and at the same time being logged in with a SIP software from a WLAN hotspot in another part of the world.
Well, if the SIP provider doesn\’t dow, can we track the caller down based on IP addresses? Well, in some cases the ISP knows the address, but can\’t give it away without an court order. In a lot of cases, the IP number will be virtual. Mobile IP, VPN and other technologies break the structure totally, making sure that any connection between IP address and location is broken.
We could joggle around with GPS receivers connected to phones and make additions to protocols, but even this will be non-functional since in a lot of cases we don\’t want everyone to know where we are. (\”Hi hon, I\’m on my way home, really, I\’m just a kilometer away\” :-) )…

So I think we just have to face facts, telephony is changing and we have to solve the 9-1-1 problem in another way in this new phone system. The caller needs to give his position, or call with 9-1-1 with area codes. Any other change will dramatically raise the cost for the SIP service provider
and complicate things to the point where we can go back to wireline telephony. And we don\’t want that to happen.

There is a new wiki in town. Add to it, so we build a common knowledge base together instead of repeating old mistakes, bothering over the same problem each alone. Go there!

The SIPWiki is dedicated to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). See Mission Statement. Anyone may contribute.

Things are moving forward on ENUM. Sweden is still running a trial, it seems like they\’re waiting for others to move forward. This message from the US State Department, NTIA and FCC is clear enough:

United States government agencies declared their support today for an industry-based mechanism to implement ENUM in the U.S. provided the process is “as inclusive as possible” and adheres to principles of competition, interoperability, innovation, privacy and security. In a joint agency letter to an industry group of interested parties, the heads of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Department of State’s International Communications and Information Policy expressed their support for the ENUM Forum’s consideration of a limited liability company (LLC) to select at least one Tier 1 provider.

ENUM is a mapping protocol that links the Internet and telephony platforms through a single identifier. ENUM has the potential to facilitate convergence of communications networks by linking e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and cell phone numbers for individuals or businesses.

There\’s been a lot of buzz around VoiceXML 2.0 lately. Internet Telephony wrote about it in january:

A new standard, VoiceXML 2.0, coupled with IP contact centers is creating a revolution in self-service, allowing users to access Web pages, fill out detailed order forms or conduct any transaction over the telephone that would normally be completed over the Web. This revolution in self-service can extend to just about any application that frees the hands of phone users to continue writing, typing, driving — or just resting.

Internet telephony have published a good article explaining ENUM:

One of the most vexing problems of VoIP is inter-domain call routing based on a telephone number. This is an issue that has plagued both H.323 and SIP for some time. As it stands now, most VoIP is used intra-domain or for calling within an enterprise to various remote locations. Vendors have all developed proprietary routing tables in their gateways or proxies that translate the dial string to a host name or URL necessary to set up a call.

This is where ENUM enters the picture.

Finally some news about the RTC Server, the SIP server or … hey, what was the latest name of Microsofts multimedia server?

Microsoft Reveals Greenwich Pricing [internet.com: Web Developer News]

Spent a lot of time with IP telephony and discovered Asterisk.org – the swiss army knife of IP telephony. A wonderful piece of Open Source software.


It seems to connect anything to anything – regardless if you are using SIP, H.323 or their own IAX protocol. Even ISDN connectivity to connect to those still on the old PSTN. Marvellous.

It still has a bit to go until it can be compared with Apache, but it is on the way. There’s not yet som many third-party development going on, not enough of examples of configurations and a not-ready manual.

The fact that it exists just shows that IP telephony is maturing. There are many Open Source programs out there, as well as commercial projects. A good sign!

Time to connect my Asterisk to the outside world.

Spent a lot of time with IP telephony and discovered Asterisk.org – the swiss army knife of IP telephony. A wonderful piece of Open Source software.


It seems to connect anything to anything – regardless if you are using SIP, H.323 or their own IAX protocol. Even ISDN connectivity to connect to those still on the old PSTN. Marvellous.

It still has a bit to go until it can be compared with Apache, but it is on the way. There’s not yet som many third-party development going on, not enough of examples of configurations and a not-ready manual.

The fact that it exists just shows that IP telephony is maturing. There are many Open Source programs out there, as well as commercial projects. A good sign!

Time to connect my Asterisk to the outside world.