29 Apr 2014

IPX & LTE signalling: Making the right decision

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LTE data roaming is currently one of the major challenges for telecommunication operators. With increased demand for high-speed data consumption abroad from the end-customer’s side, LTE data roaming is the next step for providers.

LTE roaming on an IPX basis will be a major driver for the global signalling market. The total number of signalling messages for roaming is expected to grow by more than 150% by 2016. Data volumes generated by LTE will also show a strong upward trend, increasing by 92% per year until 2015. This development will be mainly driven by Asia and Europe.

In order to support high-speed internet surfing beyond their borders, network providers need to put in place a high-performance roaming infrastructure, in addition to establishing a contractual base with their counterparts. This involves the exchange of signalling messages as well as the transport of the data (payload).

How to choose the best possible solution for LTE data roaming
In this regard, operators need to make a strategic decision on their approach to signalling and data transport. But which solution is the most suitable one? What are the economic drivers of each one? How can we achieve a fast time-to-market? We asked ourselves the same questions concerning data roaming for the Telekom Austria Group, which has retail subsidiaries in eight countries in CEE and with more than 20 million end-customers in the mobile communication segment.

Direct peerings are one way to connect with other MNOs, often ending up with a meshed-up network that proves quite costly. If you only want to offer LTE data roaming in a few neighbouring countries, direct peerings might nevertheless be appropriate for you.

However, not every provider can rely on a proprietary international signalling network. In many cases, telecom companies outsource these services to specialised providers. If you want to offer your end customers global connectivity, an international carrier’s IPX and LTE signalling service might be an interesting offer to consider, since you only need to set up and calculate for the connection to this carrier.

If you would like to read more in order to make a well-founded decision, Booz & Company’s study on LTE Signalling Services commissioned by the Telekom Austria Group and conducted by Booz & Company can be downloaded on our website.


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