Net-native upstarts are driving the need for new ways to query for global portability data

By Doug Ranalli, Founder and VP, NetNumber

As the lines between traditional telecoms, a.k.a., communications service providers (CSPs) and online, Internet-based startups continue to blur, we are seeing a significant uptick of new providers entering the market space of the traditional CSPs. These upstart internet providers come from mobile app backgrounds or offer over-the-top (OTT) IP-based services.

Because they are new, they typically don’t use standard telephony protocols to obtain the number portability data that is required to route voice calls and text messages between sender and recipient, regardless of which CSP each is using. Historically, many traditional CSPs get this information by querying NetNumber’s Carrier ID service via two protocols:  ENUM and SIP

ENUM is a standardized way of using the domain name system (DNS) protocol to query for information about a telephone number, its host CSP, and its country of origin.

The session initiation protocol (SIP), is the next-gen telco protocol for setting up voice services over a data network like the Internet. It also is used widely by CSPs.

However, because many new market entrants do not come from a traditional telephony background, they are more comfortable working with native Internet protocols like HTTP, XML, JSON, etc.  For them, a more efficient way to query for number info is to use a RESTful HTTP/JSON interface.

This is why, NetNumber has recently added RESTful HTTP and JSON capabilities to our worldwide Carrier ID service. We are excited to have this capability as a foundation for the next wave of telecom growth, which we anticipate  over the next few years could grow to become the most popular mechanism for GPD access.

When we started NetNumber 20 years ago, many experts predicted that the global telecom industry would migrate over to pure Internet protocols in just a few years. There were even people predicting the end of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in five years. But here we are, some 20 years later, and the PSTN is still going strong.

Even though the transition from telephony protocols to IP protocols is taking much longer than anyone in the industry anticipated, it is happening. This one seemingly small change that we are implementing in Carrier ID provides a good example of how the digital transformation of the CSP market space continues to evolve—and NetNumber continues to be there to support our CSP’s evolution and innovations with flexible protocol solutions.

To read more, download the complimentary white paper “Evaluation of Routing Capabilities and Traffic Flows for National IP Interconnections with ENUM and SIP.”

Contact for more details.

1 Comment

Chris John · October 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Great to see this service evolve! This is a great move to add REST API’s to the portability data service.

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