Going Dutch On Peering

Five major Dutch cable operators have joined together for VoIP peering. The Dutch operators will use XConnect Global Networks’ SIP-Exchange to peer and exchange VoIP traffic. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal brings together more than 7 million subscribers (450,000 of whom are current telephony subscribers) of UPC Netherlands, Casema, MultiKabel, Essent, and CaiW. XConnect’s SIP-Exchange will enable the cable operators to connect their respective VoIP traffic directly with each other, bypassing the PSTN.

In addition to VoIP, the Dutch XConnect SIP-Exchange agreement is expected to extend to video and other IP-enabled communications media in the future.

XConnect’s CEO Eli Katz said that his firm has relationships with over 75 Voice over Broadband providers (VoBBs) across 15 countries, and this is growing strongly. The Dutch deal is, however, quite significant, and represents a first in Katz’s view.

“This is the world’s first national MSO (Multiple Systems Operators) VoIP peering deal, providing us with a significant experience of specific MSO peering issues,” Katz told <i>VoIPplanet.com.</i> “This MSO Peering model is potentially replicable in many countries worldwide.”

Katz explained that SIP-Exchange is based on a dedicated implementation of the XConnect Registry, which is a federated private ENUM database. Katz was someone less than enthusiastic about ENUM’s open-source competition DUNDi.

“XConnect and [its partner] Kayote Networks are aware of DUNDi, and at this stage, we do not consider it a viable solution to meet the specific operational and security requirements of the directory services for Voice over Broadband service providers,” Katz said.

Katz expects to continue to expand the federation of VoBBs (called XConnect Alliance) and add instant messaging and video peering later this year.

“VoIP, or in fact, IP communications (multimedia, IM, etc.) peering, is vital to create a mass-market, end-to-end IP communications services,” Katz commented. “We believe that 2006 will be a pivotal year, with a significant percentage of the VoBBs across the world being fully peered.”

XConnect is of course not the only VoIP peering play out there. The Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) and its partners have been gaining momentum, as has Neustar and its network.

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