article

National Number Database Launched

Posted: 10/2002

National Number Database Launched

By Paula Bernier and Khali
Henderson

Intrado Inc. turned up the new
National Repository Line Level Database, which tracks what service provider each
phone number belongs to, last month. Although the launch was met with little
fanfare, its impact is expected to be significant.

Called intelliBase NRLLDB, the
service addresses the billing challenges faced by North American telecom
companies as a result of the increased number of local telephone service
providers by aiding in determining which service provider owns individual
telephone lines.

The Alliance for Telecommunications
Industry Solutions (ATIS), a North American standards body, reports
complications in the management of telephone records for billing purposes result
in revenue losses and operating costs estimated in excess of one billion dollars
annually for both local and long-distance carriers.

"Currently, the lack of
accurate billing data results in loss of revenue, billing disputes and expensive
billing validation efforts," says Gartner Dataquest analyst Norbert Scholz.
"A comprehensive database eliminates the need to research multiple sources
for the owner of the billing relationship for a particular telephone number and
carriers will have a central source to help them address these issues quickly
and effectively."

Created with the input of an
advisory board that includes all major IXCs, LECs, ILECs and CLECs as well as
software providers, the National Repository Line Level Database eventually will
contain all working telephone numbers in North America, their account owners,
revenue accounting offices, end office information and contact information.

In some cases billing name and
address of the end user and even quality of service type data, says Kelly
Anderson, senior product manager of Intrado. Today the same type of information
is sold on a CO level, says Anderson.

Intrado already has signed AT&T
as a customer. That’s no surprise, considering AT&T initiated the idea of
the database in 1997 after complaining to the Ordering and Billing Forum, which
is part of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), that
it couldn’t bill the LECs for operator assistance and other services.

The lack of reliable data on what
carrier owns a number is not specific to long-distance operators; it has been a
problem for all types of service providers. For example, CLECs and other LECs
that where once unable to identify each other for reciprocal compensation
purposes can now use the database to realize new revenue assurance, says
Anderson. "The [amount] of porting has not decreased with the CLEC
lull," she says. "There are just fewer players."

Beyond the wireline world, the
database will also be a resource when wireless local number portability comes on
line next year.


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