A Peerless Strategy: Understanding How to Benefit From Peering

With the rise of multilateral VoIP peering among service providers, peering recently has become a hot term. Yet the actual practice of peering has been going on for years on a number of fronts, and its applications continue to expand.

Todays COMPTEL PLUS Info Peering Track, sponsored by telx, will explore peering on various levels.

The session Enterprise Peering: The Leaders, The Benefits, The Challenges will look at the status of enterprise adoption for peering today and the opportunities enterprise peering creates for service providers moving forward. Speakers for this track include Sridhar Ramachandran, NexTones chief technology officer, and Bryan Johns, partner with the Shelton Johns Technology Group.

Stock exchange traders have been connecting phones directly at different trading companies for about 20 years, said Hunter Newby, chief strategy officer at telx. Theres no phone call, theres no switch; it just happens, he said. Thats peering, and thats multilateral peering. Traditionally, thats been circuit-switched, but it doesnt matter. The whole purpose is just to be on-net with the other party immediately and at no incremental cost.

This kind of enterprise peering now is expanding to encompass VoIP, data and other kinds of traffic as well, and it allows a variety of business-to-business partners to connect directly. That means any carrier that offers Ethernet transport and hosted managed protocol conversion is in a good position to offer these businesses services, said Newby. Its opening a whole new world and the centralized control of the dominant telcos is being broken down, he added.

A second panel on the track is The Future of Voice & Video Peering. This session will talk about how IPTV, telepresence and digital theater distribution figure into the peering mix. Presenters include Jim Farmer, senior manager of product marketing at Switch and Data; Eli Katz, CEO and founder of XConnect; and Shrihari Pandit, president and CEO of Stealth Communications Inc.

TheSwitch.TV is a perfect example of video peering, Newby said. Theyve been peering on a video switch for about 15 years. Now video peering is moving over the IP.

Beers Enterprises Inc. is owner and operator of The Switch, the leading video switching center in the New York metropolitan area. The Switch also provides advanced video switching services from its facilities in Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C. The Switch was created in 1991 to provide cost-effective, customer-controlled television and audio signal routing services to the broadcast industry. Customers include domestic and international television networks, common carriers, local broadcast stations, and producers and distributors of sports, entertainment, news, financial and public service television programming.

Finally, the Info Peering track will include a session called Application Peering 101, which will look at peering from the perspective of other traffic types and applications such as e-mail, SMS and IM. Panelists include Gary Kim, editor in chief of VoIP Business News and ChannelVision, and Rich Tehrani, president and group editor of TMC.

SMS providers originally created their services as islands, then five years after the initial offer they peered, said Newby. Peering caused a massive increase in use because it allowed subscribers to communicate via SMS with a whole new world of SMS users, rather than staying exclusively on a service providers SMS island.

Even if the telco isnt the application provider, however, Newby said its important for them to understand application peering so they can best position themselves to provide business customers with the underlying transport to carry applications. Its all about hold my hand and I can take you there, said Newby.


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