VeriSign Inc will today unveil a suite of hosted services it says will help connect voice over IP deployments to each other over the internet, bypassing the PSTN and helping VoIP-using organizations reduce costs.
The company is currently testing the services, named IP Connect, which it says allow VoIP to travel over the internet all the way to its destination, rather than jumping off onto the PSTN, where call charges are incurred.
The core of the offering is Network Routing Directory, another directory service based on VeriSign’s Advanced Transaction Lookup and Signaling software (ATLAS), which also runs the .com and .net domain names and VeriSign’s SS7 voice signaling service.
The NRD will accept incoming telephone numbers using ENUM, the domain name system-based standard, session initiation protocol (SIP) INVITEs, and SS7, and return the IP addresses of the corresponding telephones.
If I have an IP PBX and you have an IP PBX, we can talk without using the PSTN at all, said VP of VoIP services Tom Kershaw, describing how the company thinks its product can bridge the VoIP islands.
The firm says that in current VoIP deployments, organizations are limited to employing IP only on networks they control, and have to travel on the regular telephone system, even to reach other VoIP users.
All these islands, all these enterprise islands, all these carrier islands, can now go through this directory, Kershaw said. Obviously, we will be peering with other directories as they get launched, but to my knowledge we’re the first.
The services require some work to be done at the PBX, to support the directory services, as well as a VeriSign gateway security appliance designed for VoIP traffic, Kershaw said.
The company does not have a go-live date for the service, and has yet to announce pricing, although it has been decided to offer various tiers of subscription. Internap Networks Services Inc has been named as the first test customer.
VoIP is rapidly becoming a reality in the US, with a handful of startups commanding user bases in the hundreds of thousands and most of the major ISPs, cable operators and carriers planning or already offering their own services.