878TEN is the world’s only UPT number range and one of only two global number ranges that has been given an ENUM delegation by the ITU (the other range has just 100,000 numbers).
With ten-billion ten-digit UPT numbers available for immediate allocation, 878TEN gives users the opportunity to use a specific number or alphanumeric word they value. This could be a name, a number that is easy to remember, a lucky number or a number that uses the same digits as their current ‘national’ mobile number. Subject to users complying with terms and ITU regulations and reclamations, 878TEN guarantees lifetime allocation of numbers, so people will never need to change their numbers again.
There are some country codes that have been granted an ENUM delegation, but these provide “second line” ENUM, rather than the “first line” ENUM of 878TEN. In a second line ENUM, the ENUM benefits can only be accessed via the Internet, with the number behaving only as a normal telephone number if it is accessed from a telephone network. 878TEN is a “first line” ENUM delegation, so it always functions as an ENUM-enabled identifier, even when called from a telephone network.
UPT stands for Universal Personal Telecommunication.
The UPT standards have been developed to allow a UPT number to be associated with any device on any network, anywhere in the world. An individual should be able to enter an access code to make or receive calls on any device.
This is particularly useful for the bottom of the pyramid consumer for whom the cost of a device can present a major barrier to service. UPT allows ad hoc sharing of physical devices. UPT is intended to be independent of geography or network provider.
ENUM lets 878TEN numbers access Internet resources by mapping them into Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs).
ENUM uses NAPTR (Name Authority Pointer) records to effect mappings from E.164 telephone numbers to URIs.
The Internet Assigned Number Authority maintains a list of standardised URIs which currently comprises approximately 250 definitions.
Examples of how existing URI mappings allow 878TEN numbers to be used as universal personal identifiers include:
- E.164 to http and E.164 to https: for web pages;
- E.164 to mailto for email addresses; and
- E.164 to SIP for SIP VoIP accounts.
The ENUM protocol requires that an 878TEN number is transformed into a domain name by reversing the number, separating each digit with a dot and appending .e164.arpa. For example, the number (+)87810 1234567890 would transform into the domain name 0.9.8.7.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.8.7.8.e164.arpa. This is performed by a small piece of code, called the ENUM Client, which can easily be integrated into any system that intends to use the 878TEN identifier.
This domain name is then used to look up the NAPTR records associated with the number in an ENUM Domain Name Server (E-DNS). The E-DNS passes the NAPTR records to the ENUM Client which shares them with the application that initiated the request. The application can then use the mapping information in the NAPTR records as required to complete the request. Dual-horizon E-DNS architectures, encryption, blockchain, registration, service provider authorisation and other technologies can be used to mitigate against the personal information associated with the 878TEN identifier being misused, abused or hacked.
Not until arrangements are finalised with telecom operators to route 878TEN numbers on their networks. However, even without these in place, you can use 878TEN numbers to make and receive calls and send and receive data over the Internet (VoIP).
Most PBX equipment is also ENUM enabled, so enterprise telephone systems can be easily configured to recognise and route the 878TEN numbers via the Internet.
In addition, smartphone clients can be ENUM enabled to make calls to 878TEN numbers over the Internet. 878TEN is currently testing smartphone applications and will provide links shortly.