What you need to know about VoIP peering

* Carriers are starting to offer end-to-end VoIP services to their corporate customers that take advantage of peering

What you need to know about VoIP peering

By Carolyn Duffy Marsan

As companies install VoIP systems, they’re looking for ways to keep more of their voice traffic on IP networks to avoid the toll charges associated with the Public Switched Telephone Network. VoIP peering among carriers promises to make end-to-end VoIP calls a reality.

The VoIP peering market is still in its infancy, with carriers testing third-party services and joining exchanges to handle voice peering. In the United States, VoIP peering services for carriers are available from NeuStar, Stealth Communications, Switch and Data, and Tello.

Carriers are starting to offer end-to-end VoIP services to their corporate customers that take advantage of peering. Global Crossing announced in September that it was peering with VoIP service provider SunRocket. Global Crossing plans to sign other VoIP peering deals during the next year.

For corporate network managers, VoIP peering is promising, but it is still a year or more away from reality. That’s because none of the top-tier carriers in the United States, including AT&T or Verizon Business, offer VoIP peering.

“The numbers being thrown around in the industry are that only 2% to 4% of all VoIP traffic goes through a peering service,” says Mario Galvez, vice president of marketing for Switch and Data, which in June announced VoIP peering exchange services for carriers. “We’re going to see greater cost reductions in the future as the ratio of VoIP peering calls increases.”

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