Telephone Number Mapping

What Does Telephone Number Mapping Mean?

Telephone number mapping refers to the mapping of telephone numbers with Internet identification and addressing name spaces. E.164 NUmber Mapping (ENUM) is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard for mapping public switched telephone networks (PSTN) in the DNS. ENUM is the protocol through which a telephone number is mapped as an IP address, therefore making the Internet accessible through a telephone number.

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Techopedia Explains Telephone Number Mapping

Telephone number mapping is a solution for providing Internet subscribers with a cheap, easy connection to the Internet. Users must register phone numbers for ENUM much like registering for a domain.

ENUM allows operators to define specific routes for several types of calls. Users with ENUM-registered numbers can have calls forwarded in different modes. This enables users to increase their communication options even when the phone line is busy.

There are three main types of ENUM:

User ENUM:Normally known as public ENUM, it is the original aspect of ENUM where users have the option to select a country code level from the E164.arpa domain.
Private ENUM: ISP and VoIP service providers can use ENUM for internal use.
Carrier ENUM: Service providers mutually decide to share user information through ENUM.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.