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Enum To Unite UK Phone & Internet Contacts

Posted: 26th Nov, 2007 By: MarkJ
The Enum project, which aims to unite the UK's national telephone communications network with the Internet, has finally started. It will be managed by Nominet, the UK's domain registrar, and aims to make looking for an Internet contact as easy as looking through your local phone book.

The system is designed to enable you to call people on different electronic communications devices and software applications by using a single identifier. This is done by translating the telephone number into a domain name:

01865 332211 becomes 1.1.2.2.3.3.5.6.8.1.4.4.e164.arpa where '44' is the UK's international dialling code, 'e164' is the name of the telephone numbering system and '.arpa' is the Internet infrastructure equivalent of ..uk or .com. A computer can understand and connect to this address in a fraction of a second which makes ENUM a quick, stable and cheap link between the telecommunications system and the Internet.

The first main use of ENUM will be to link different VoIP servers so that telephones within businesses that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to connect users within an internal network can use the same technology to connect users to external customers via the Internet.

http://www.nominet.org.uk/tech/enum .

It's hoped that future developments will allow calls to be connected to a desk telephone or mobile 'on the fly' as you move in and out of the office environment.

The system would even allow you to save all your contact details: phone numbers, e-mail and home addresses etc. all in one ENUM entry. Rules could also be added, which would redirect people to one or other of the contacts depending on who the person is, what time it is and so forth.

Though initially targeted towards business applications, it could just as easily find itself adapted into the residential environment too.
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