Tuesday, September 12, 2006


More momentum for the voice peering space, and for XConnect in particular, as today XConnect acquires IPeerX, expanding its total footprint to 300 carriers and 8 million active numbers in its private ENUM registry. As I see it, this space is all about gaining critical mass quickly, and I assume that larger carrier deals flow from an expanded universe of potential partners.

The timing is also interesting from the standpoint of market adoption - VoDSL offerings from the European carriers are now at impressive levels of penetration (Iliad 87% of DSL subs, France Telecom 28%, KPN 9%). In the age of flat rate calls to much of Europe and North America, having the potential for settlement free termination is probably going to grow in appeal as penetration rises.

Additionally, many of these same carriers are increasingly seeing the value of having their own softphones, which means that being able to preserve the integrity of wideband voice codecs, presence information, and video calling is likely to be more important to them, beyond merely the cost-savings of not touching the PSTN, or indeed the opportunity to recreate PSTN charging mechanisms in an IP world (which this release from Arbinet seems to suggest is its game plan, at least in the short term).

From my point of view, this deal gives XConnect a crucial foothold in the North American market, with what I am told is a state-of-the-art NOC. It also brings Jeff Pulver into the fold, and given his profile, connections, and role in galvanizing the industry, I think he will prove to be an important asset to the company.

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