ISNs, an innovative approach to VoIP Peering

What's an ISN? An ISN is an ITAD Server Number. What the heck is an ITAD? An ITAD is an Internet Telephony Administrative Domain.

If you are in the business of developing future VoIP products, you need to include the ITAD concept into your long term strategic thinking. It could be just another geek idea that never flys, but it could also be another one of those unusual open source type concepts that take-off virally when the market enablers are in place.

The concept is simple - create an open numbering system for VoIP that is available to everyone, not just telephone companies. A billion plus people in the world make telephone calls using telephone numbers provided exclusively by telephone carriers.

ITADs are different. They are numbers that anyone can get from IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority). An ISN is a subscriber number followed by a * followed by the ITAD for the subscriber. For example, the TransNexus ITAD is 484. You can think of 484 as the domain name for TransNexus VoIP calls - just like is the domain name for e-mail messages sent to TransNexus. The ISN for phone extension 101 at TransNexus is 101*484.

A key feature of ISNs is that they are easy to dial on a plain old 12 digit telephone key pad. This is not the case with a SIP uri which could require a full alphanumeric keyboard. At this point ITADs are still just an interesting idea being nurtured in a live trial by John Todd, a clever VoIP innovator. Nevertheless, it is concept that forward thinking product managers and strategic planners need to keep in mind as they look for new opportunities to out-flank their competition.