GSMA cracks translating phone nos into IP addresses

The GSM Association (GSMA) and NeuStar, which provides clearinghouse and directory services, announced the completion of their PathFinder Carrier ENUM pilot. The ENUM (stands for Telephone Number Mapping) service automatically translates a phone number into an IP-based address, making it transparent for users to initiate a range of IP-based services via their existing phone numbers and handset address books.

ENUM enables operators to deliver IP-based calls and messages to the corresponding phone number. This information is populated by the operator on behalf of the subscriber and is not made available to third parties except for routing.

PathFinder was formerly known as the GSMA's Number Resolution Service and will include a global master root directory. The idea is that PathFinder will enable operators to exchange ENUM data via a common commercial and technical framework, facilitating the roll-out and interconnection of IP-services across network boundaries.

It is based on what the GSMA calls "tried and trusted DNS technology" (hasn't it heard of the major flaw in DNS‾), which, the organisations says, will enable operators to route and exchange IP traffic of any kind using telephone numbers.
The GSMA selected the clearinghouse and directory services provider NeuStar to manage the Pathfinder service on the GSMA's behalf, following a competitive evaluation process. 

The PathFinder service is now available to mobile and fixed network operators, carriers and related service providers.
Supported by Bharti,, mobilkom austria, SMART, Telekom Austria, Telecom Italia and Telenor, the PathFinder service pilot achieved an industry first by exchanging international packet voice and MMS traffic enabled via a global, interoperable deployment of Carrier ENUM, validating ENUM as an effective solution to IP-based routing and interconnection.
"The successful testing of ENUM on Telekom Austria's next generation environment demonstrates yet again that the infrastructure is ready for commercial customer pilots," commented Boris Nemsic, CEO of Telekom Austria Group and GSMA board member.