Phil Kingsland, director of marketing and communications at Nominet is seeking to clarify the UK position on ENUM, “Earlier this year we launched Public User ENUM in the UK. To recap, ENUM is a new registry service that combines telephone numbers and the Domain Name System (DNS) to simplify the way that VoIP calls (telephone calls made over the Internet) work. It allows more VoIP calls to be connected directly over the Internet, for no charge, rather than via the traditional PSTN network.
The core principle of ENUM is to translate a telephone number into a domain name. This allows users to carry on using the existing phone number formats they are familiar with, whilst allowing the device to route the call using a DNS lookup. Using the DNS makes ENUM a quick, stable and cheap link between telecommunications systems and the Internet.
If you are already a VoIP user, having your telephone numbers in the ENUM database means that you can advertise to other VoIP users how you would like to be contacted. In addition to your VoIP address, the ENUM record can contain your email address, instant messenger details, mobile number and even your traditional telephone number.
There has been much discussion about how ENUM would be managed and charged for. We have set up a registrar channel for the Public User ENUM registry that mirrors the domain name registrar channel we currently use for .uk domain names. It is these registrars who will sell ENUM registration services to end users. There is a charge for each telephone number being registered, which would be set by the individual registrars. ENUM registrations are renewable annually and queries to the ENUM registry are free.
As we operate the official registry that maps e164 telephone numbers (i.e. +44) to the e164.arpa domain names within the DNS you would need to prove that the telephone number you want to register as an ENUM registration belongs to you. This process of validation would be carried out as part of the registrar’s registration procedures and they would explain what information they need.
If you are interested in registering your numbers into the ENUM registry, you can find a list of our registrars here: