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Database, Gateway Services Market Opens






Stealth Communications Inc., owner and operator of the Voice Peering Fabric (VPF), announced in mid-June the launch of the VPF ASP Market, an online marketplace for access to telco databases and gateway services, including 411, 8XX, CNAM, LNP and SS7.

The VPF ASP Market provides a framework for VPF members to discover and use services from the VPF ASP Partners, including SNET DG, Syniverse Technologies Inc. and VeriSign Inc.

The ASP market allows our members to buy and sell services that wouldnt fall into the category of the Minutes Market, says Stealth Communications CEO Shrihari Pandit. The VPF Minutes Market allows the exchange of VoIP minutes among members of the VPF, which is based on a distributed Ethernet network.

To access the services of the Minutes Market or the new ASP Market, carriers and enterprises only need connect to the VPF via a single Ethernet connection. By simplifying the connection process, access to services within the VPF are more cost-effective than traditional methods, says Pandit.

VPF ASP Market Services

Toll-Free Gateway
Directory Assistance
C7-to-SS7 Gateway
Mobile Roaming Services
Caller Name Database
International Code Database
Line Information Database
Local Number Portability
SS7 SIGTRAN Gateway Clearing & Settlement
Operator Services

Source: The VPF as of June 30, 2005.

VeriSign, for example, is offering VPF members alternative methods for SS7 connectivity. By us connecting to the VPF directly, I can turn on a link very quickly and easily, says Tom Kershaw, vice president of next-generation networks at VeriSign. I can offer them a lot of options. They dont have to do dedicated, expensive A Links [access links connecting a source point to a signaling transfer point], they can use IP, which is what SIGTRAN does (sending SS7 messages over IP) or they can just connect to us using the virtual SS7 network using SIP.

This latter option is VeriSigns SIP7 product, which enables VoIP operators to send SIP traffic to VeriSign, which converts it to SS7. If you look at a VoIP operator, they typically spend 65 percent of their capital on connecting to the PSTN, Kershaw says. Thats ironic because [w]hat they are trying to do is build a VoIP system and a network of services around IP yet the majority of their spend is on PSTN equipment. So, what SIP7 enables them to do is take their capital and spend it on VoIP, services and features.

Connectivity to the VPF means the service can be turned up quickly. We dont have to set up another connection, we are already connected, says Kershaw. That is what the spirit of the VPF is. Lets all connect together physically over Ethernet and then we can share services and features and data much more efficiently than going off and connecting one by one by one to each of the operators.

Members pay a monthly charge per DS0 or per channel for SIP7 and per route for SIGTRAN.

VeriSign also will offer enhanced call routing services and database services, such as LNP, 800 number translation data and calling-party name data. So what they will be able to do is access database services on the PSTN through that same connection to the VPF, says Kershaw, noting that subscription to the SS7 network is not required.

SNET DG also will be offering VPF members SIP access to Intelligent Network Database Information such as, CNAM, 8XX, LNP as well as 411-accessible directory assistance. VoIP providers need access to legacy telco database information for calls that interact with the PSTN. By joining the VPF family, SNET DG is offering VPF members quick and easy access to the information they need without the complexity and expense of an SS7 network, or handing off database queries to a TDM-based carrier, says Suzette Taylor, business development manager at SNET DG.

According to information posted at the VPF Web site, Syniverse also plans to offer toll-free gateway services, CNAM, LNP, LIDB as well as mobile roaming services, C7 to SS7 gateway services and SIGTRAN-based SS7 connectivity.

Links
SNET DG www.snetdg.com
Stealth Communications Inc. www.stealth.net
Syniverse Technologies Inc. www.syniverse.com
VeriSign Inc. www.verisign.com
Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) www.thevpf.com

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