I've just had a nice chat with Cyril Matthews, director of registry and network services for telecom trunking and infrastructure service provider VoEX.
Cyril was literally packing his bags after several days at the CTIA show. He was there in large measure to talk up one of VoEX's' newer services, their trademarked Wireless Peering Grid.
The idea is for carriers to usethe VoEX SuperRegistry ENUM database of over 250 million phone numbers and their related VoEX IP addresses. Carriers register their network entry points and phone numbers with the aforementioned VoEX Wireless Peering Grid and then obtain access to each others' endpoints. managed IP access, through VoEX, to each others’ endpoints.
There's a direct inflection cost point on carrier calls. Cyril says this works by allowing carriers to support more calls over IP and over longer distances at that. Intermediary carrier charges and those potentially call-quality-distracting multiple PSTN hops are averted. Not only that, but wireless carriers may earn compensation for calls handed off directly to their networks by VoEX.
He also pointed out that the Wireless Peering Grid technology could also be used in closed systems with lots of phone numbers- such as universities and large corporate HQs.
Cyril told me that under the present, legacy system, an intermediate long-distance handoff will result in charges of half a penny to 1.5 cents a minute for domestic calls. "Because we don't separate the query from the transport, there's no overhead for processing the call," Cyril pointed out.
And with that overhead up and gone, carriers could feel free to pass on those savings to consumers and corporate customers as well.
That was Cyril's sell. But are carriers buying?
Cyril thinks the initial momentum may come from carriers and services that aren't necessarily wedded to the cellular or PSTN giants who (and this is my terminology) are stuck in their ways. He regards Skype-like mobile services and discount cell services such as Cricket Wireless as the type of accounts that will lead the charge toward embracing the Wireless Peering Grid model.