As seen in the June 28, 2010 COMPTEL Connection
Headquarters Location: Sterling, VA
Q: What does your company do and how long has it been in operation?
A: Neustar was originally founded in 1996 to meet the many technical and operational challenges that arose when the U.S. government mandated local number portability. Today, we are trusted on a much larger scale – delivering addressing, interoperability and infrastructure services worldwide to communication service providers, enterprises, associations, governments and regulatory agencies.
Q: To what do you attribute your company’s success in the communications industry?
• Prudent financial management.
• Proven thought leadership.
• We allow networks to connect seamlessly with reliable performance and trusted security in an atmosphere of “frictionless innovation.”
• We have a singular goal: becoming as essential to the IP-driven world taking shape around us as we are to traditional telephony.
Q: What have been the biggest obstacles your company has faced in the marketplace?
A: Identifying the ideal ways to manage change and network complexity – and re-evaluating our strategies on an almost daily basis for the benefit of our customers. We believe these are our greatest challenges going forward as well.
Q: What have been some of your company’s most recent achievements (new customer wins, new service/product deployment, etc.)?
A: In 2009 alone, Neustar:
• Amended the contracts under which it provides telephone number portability services in the United States. Under these amendments, the pricing changed from a transaction-based model to an annual fixed fee model with annual escalators. These amendments also provided incentives to the industry to quickly establish and use three new IP fields in the NPAC related to VoIP, SMS and MMS. This pricing change provides Neustar with several benefits, including revenue certainty, improved visibility and defined year-over-year revenue growth – and also allows Neustar to play a key role in delivering innovative IP services as demand for these services starts to thrive over time.
• Announced the availability of Cache Defender™, a secure Domain Name System (DNS) authentication system that mitigates a fundamental flaw in how traffic is managed on the Internet. This vulnerability, brought to public attention last year by security researcher Dan Kaminsky of IOActive, allows criminal elements to engage in “DNS cache poisoning” for the malicious hijacking of domain names and results in damage from large-scale identity theft, among other illegal activities.
• Received approval from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to make one- and two-character .BIZ domain names available to the public. ICANN’s decision enabled the .BIZ registry to generate greater brand recognition in today’s top-level domain (TLD) marketplace, particularly among the global business community. In a phased rollout, Neustar made these highly desirable domain names available through an RFP process, followed by an offering at auction of those domains not allocated to RFP respondents. A number of major brands have secured names.
• Expanded its Webmetrics performance monitoring agent network to over 100 major cities worldwide. Today, Webmetrics has one of the industry’s most comprehensive monitoring networks, which provides accurate, actionable real-time data regarding end user experiences of websites and applications.
• Significantly enhanced its global sales distribution capabilities by forging strategic reseller partnerships with Rackspace Hosting (NYSE: RAX), a leader in the hosting and cloud computing industry, and Infoblox Inc., a provider of reliable and manageable platforms for core network services. Rackspace’s hosting customers now have access to innovative DNS traffic management and application performance monitoring services from Neustar. In turn, Neustar is now a preferred enterprise-scale provider to Rackspace for failover, application performance monitoring and website load testing. Similarly, Infoblox now offers Neustar’s UltraDNS® family of services, including managed DNS and traffic management, while Neustar offers Infoblox’s core network services appliances.
• Announced a joint initiative designed to drive widespread adoption of mobile financial services with Visa Inc., which maintains the world’s largest retail electronic payments network. The alliance will combine the reliability, scale and security of Visa’s global payment network with Neustar’s carrier-grade infrastructure, which provides critical interconnection services to global network operators and their partners – and it has the potential to accelerate the delivery of mobile financial services in both emerging and developed economies.
• On February 17, 2009, Neustar was ranked #17 on Forbes Magazine’s “25 Fastest Growing Tech Companies” list. Selection criteria for the list included a minimum of $25 million in sales over the previous 12 months, a minimum of 10 percent annualized sales gains over the previous five fiscal years, profitability over the previous 12 months and a Thomson IBES long-term consensus profit forecast of at least 10% annualized – all of which Neustar satisfied.
• .CO Internet S.A.S., a strategic venture formed between Neustar and Arcelandia S.A., a Colombian entity with interests in a variety of Internet-related businesses, was awarded a 10-year contract to promote, manage and operate the technical infrastructure of Colombia’s .CO country code top-level Internet domain. Neustar serves as the registry operator, offers secure and robust registry services to a select list of registrars, and provides advanced DNS capabilities to the .CO domain.
• Was selected by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC – a consortium of leading entertainment, consumer electronics and technology companies and retailers dedicated to developing the next generation digital media experience based on open, licensable specifications – to develop and manage the DECE’s Digital Rights Locker. The Digital Rights Locker is a cloud-based authentication service and account management hub that provides consumers with access to their digital entertainment. Neustar will authenticate rights to view content from multiple services and with multiple devices, and will manage content and registration of devices in consumer accounts. The launch of the Digital Rights Locker is targeted for the second half of 2010.
• Saw tangible growth in the PathFinder Number Portability Discovery service that Neustar operates on behalf of the GSM Association (GSMA), an organization representing the interests of the global mobile communications industry. Through PathFinder, Neustar and the GSMA now can reach over 80 percent of 2.3 billion telephone numbers worldwide that can be impacted by number portability.
Q: Why is it important for your company to be a COMPTEL member?
A: Neustar serves the members of COMPTEL every day. Our numbering and next-generation addressing solutions were built to support the need for interconnection and interoperability within a competitive communications service provider community. Being a member of COMPTEL allows Neustar to engage in open and honest dialogue about the opportunities and challenges members face. We can then use that knowledge to develop solutions that allow other members to take advantage of those opportunities and overcome daily challenges.