I am calling 2008 , the year we peer for a couple of reasons. I am not referring to the large VoIP providers, I am referring to the small and medium VoIP providers. I also believe that with the peering of the small to medium VoIP providers, the larger ones will follow suit to whatever peering the smaller providers use, as there is strength in numbers. I envision that small to medium providers do not want to pay a high start up cost, nor collocate facilities, which both seem to be the case with the existing peering offerings.
2008 will also be the year that more VoIP providers dry up and blow away. Why? Well the answer goes like this… If you do not peer you will be paying to terminate calls that you may otherwise terminate for free. Your competitors may be doing this already, and those not peering are left at a disadvantage. Also, there is just the standard attrition rate. VoIP is nor easy to make money in , but it can also be a low investment start up, that can support a family on. Of course it does not happen overnight, and it takes a lot of work. So while building that VoIP business you need to save every possible fraction of a penny. Remember the movie, “Office Space”? Those guys pilfered fractions of pennies off of accounts, and it all added up. Now compare that with a small VoIP company. If they could terminate just 2% of calls through peering with millions of minutes annually, that might make it worth a small monthly fee for peering. Not to mention that peering is the kind of thing that as more and more companies begin to do, it becomes more attractive for non–participants to get involved in, as every new peering partner adds their destinations to the pool. Some technologies are destined to fail once a certain saturation level is reached, however I believe the opposite is true with peering.
A small to medium VoIP provider can begin to make this happen now by doing the following.
1) Open their networks to receive anonymous inbound SIP/H.323/IAX traffic.
2) Take advantage of existing ENUM and/or DUNDI offerings.
3) Contact us to offer to peer with us. We are currently expanding our peering relationships and will soon offer all available peering available to us to our peering partners, thereby making it a complete traffic exchange for all peers. Our goal is to make transparent peering a reality, so that any peer is automatically a peer with all other peers on the network, but we are not quite there yet.
Of course appropriate action needs to be taken to ensure that you are only terminating calls that truly terminate on their network. It is safe and easy to allow both anonymous SIP inbounds and DUNDI if one uses Asterisk as a front end for your DIDs. I am sure there are other ways that are not yet imagined as well.
I think in the next year we will begin to see exciting new peering offerings emerge.
Make 2008 the Year we Peer!