GSMA launches international number portability registry service

The GSMA has announced the launch of PathFinder Number Portability Discovery, a GSMA-managed service that will be operated by Neustar. Designed as a state of the art solution for global number portability, the new service encompasses 2.2 billion telephone numbers that are impacted by number portability worldwide, a figure which is expected to rise rapidly.

Number Portability is currently implemented in over 52 countries globally, with many more, including China and India, expected to launch by the end of 2010. The service will also aggregate numbering plan data from virtually every country in the world, including those with high number portability penetration.

“The GSMA’s PathFinder Number Portability Discovery service provides critical numbering plan and number portability information that dynamically enables service providers to identify the true destination network for accurate routing,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology and strategy officer at the GSMA. “The service will help eliminate incremental fees, reduce costs, optimise rates in commercial agreements, improve traffic delivery and pave the way for new feature-rich IP-based services. With their credentials in number portability, we are pleased to extend our relationship with Neustar, who will operate the service.”

PathFinder was created by the GSMA to provide an interoperable, industry-wide solution that enables the routing of global IP service interconnect traffic. The new Number Portability Discovery service will make use of PathFinder’s extensive number portability database, which provides access to all national numbering plans and number portability information, where available, throughout the world. With adaptable and extensible interfaces, the service can rapidly incorporate new number portability data for countries coming on line or that plan to implement number portability in the future.

Building on the innovation and extensibility of the PathFinder Carrier ENUM platform, the service makes it simple for carriers, service providers and hubs to improve their voice, SMS and MMS commercial/technical performance in the presence of number portability challenges, while providing a convenient upgrade path to next generation IP services that require number portability correction through Carrier ENUM based number resolution techniques. Customers who subscribe to industry port corrected data from the PathFinder Number Portability Discovery service can seamlessly incorporate richer service delivery data, provisioned for the destination networks.

Furthermore, Pulse Networks, Veraz Networks and TransNexus have been certified as PathFinder Partners to enable access to IP-based ENUM services from both next generation networks and C7 legacy networks. The GSMA’s PathFinder Industry Partner Programme ensures that network and software vendors around the globe have an industry vehicle with which to verify interoperability for ENUM-based routing. The programme lowers the barrier to adoption for service providers by ensuring that equipment vendors are Carrier ENUM-ready as current and future IP services gain momentum.

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