The Australian Communications Authority will soon be starting the trial of electronic number mapping (ENUM), which will allow consumers to use one telephone number for a range of telephony services, e-mail and instant messaging.
The ACA are calling for expressions of interest from organisations who want to operate a registry for the Australian ENUM trial.
ACA acting chairman Bob Horton said the organisation selected to be the operator would provide the necessary infrastructure for an ENUM system for a minimum of one year, with the possibility of an extension for another 12 months.
"During this time, the organisation will be required to maintain a stable platform for other trial participants to develop and test new applications and services using ENUM," Horton said.
ENUM will allow consumers to use a single telephone number for home phone, mobile, Internet phone, e-mail and instant messaging. ENUM maps a telephone number to the Internet using a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), ENUM has the potential to enable a link between a variety of telecommunications and Internet services. The system has been successfully tried in European countries and in Asia, and is close to being commercially deployed in some countries.
Horton said there are significant advantages to ENUM, since callers would only need to remember one contact number.
The selected Tier 1 registry operator will provide registry services for the Internet domain 1.6.e164.arpa, which has been designated by the International Telecommunications Union as the Australian ENUM domain.
ACA said the operator will operate at no cost to the ACA, but may charge trial participants for registry services.
ACA is looking for organisations with experience in developing and managing large scale DNS, database services and related technologies such as provisioning protocols.
Organisations also need to have experience in maintaining the security and reliability of DNS records, and the ability to financially manage the ENUM trial, using a charging structure that "does not stifle competition or create significant barriers to entry to the ENUM trial."
All expressions of interest will be reviewed by ACA staff, who will seek advice from an advisory panel. Expressions of interest close on 7 July.