While Sprint’s Partner Interexchange Network (PIN) is starting out as a VoIP exchange, the company believes the new service has the potential to bring in various types of vertical service providers and leverage its strong IP networking assets.
“PIN really came about from a bunch of different factors,” said Joby McDonald, a product manager for Sprint’s wholesale division. “It’s a logical extension of our existing peering relationships and relations with cable MSOs and wireless.. so it was kind of born out of that. We have … wireline assets and continue to monetize them and have the network architecture to do it.”
McDonald described PIN “in its core… it is a transit service,” but one set up as a Voice over IP exchange. However, the concept is to build a community of vertical service providers and operators, giving them the opportunity to exchange traffic between each other. It also builds on the premise that the traditional voice network paradigm is shifting and is likely to change more as efforts for regulatory reform on paying for termination charges under the legacy PSTN regime continue.
Using SIP at the core means PIN is not limited to toll quality voice, but McDonald says while the architecture is capable of doing more, Sprint is still thinking through what services it will offer beyond VoIP exchange in the future. “We don’t have anything specifically defined outside of the support of different types of communities and international,” he said. “PIN today is a start, build on a platform integrated into an IMS core that has a lot of application types of capabilities… we have the network elements to go in any direction and it’s a matter of us evolving into a service offering.”
Current Sprint customers are “really positive” about PIN and see that it has the capability to lay on applications and scale appropriately with carrier-class reliability. Expanding international service is “a nut we’re trying to crack,” McDonald stated, with Sprint looking at its assets and capabilities around the globe. International wireless carriers have the need to exchange a multitude of data types including SMS, MMS and multimedia video conferencing.