Setting the agenda for industry transformation, a decade on

Setting the agenda for industry transformation, a decade on

The carrier industry’s i3forum was launched at the first ITW. Now, John Christian (Metaswitch and i3forum board member), Alessandro Forcina (Sparkle and i3forum board member) and Philippe Millet (Orange and i3forum chair) discuss its future role

It’s a decade since leading companies from the wholesale carrier industry saw the need for i3forum and industry-wide cooperation on the migration to IP: the organisation was announced at the first ITW in Washington DC in 2008. And its members are now taking on new challenges.

As then, we keep pushing the industry for an all-IP world. That was our mission in 2008 and it’s still central to what we do. The transition is now happening on a large scale across the industry, and the set of recommendations, best practices, workshops and whitepapers put together and made public by the members of the i3forum in the past years have helped carriers accelerate the pace of IP migration. 

This transition is not only critical to support our customers’ evolving needs, it is indisputably a prerequisite to any further industry transformation. 

The key has been i3forum’s focus on practical, actionable contributions, by the industry and for the industry, that has made it easier for carriers, large and small, to work together and bring about an all-IP world in which everyone can compete, innovate and thrive.

Next challenges

Building on this widely recognised accomplishment and on our ability to bring together a broad range of stakeholders, the 28 members of the i3forum – vendors and carriers alike – are now focusing on the next challenges in the industry transformation, which include fight against fraud, IMS migration, network functions virtualisation (NFV), software-defined networks (SDN), the internet of things (IoT), unified communications (UC) and more. 

To that end, the members of the i3forum are working to understand how this industry can benefit from the digital transformation and what the various stakeholders need to agree and implement together in order to enable it. 

In an industry that is growing ever more complex and economically challenging, we need to collectively transform the networks, the products, the services as well as the way we do business. Operating in an ecosystem where we all depend so much on each other, innovation and transformation demand cooperation. 

In order to accomplish this, and using the i3forum as its platform for collaboration, our members share their insight and vision of the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead, and cooperate to find solutions. We do not look to provide one solution for each problem, but to make sure everyone can find in our recommendations a way forward that works for them, leveraging industry approved insight, best practices and experience.

Foster cooperation

That’s the mission of i3forum: to foster cooperation among all stakeholders in order to enable new ecosystems in which everyone can then define and execute their own strategy.

We also represent the carrier industry when it comes to meeting other organisations. We work closely with the GSMA on IMS, fraud, business models for interconnections as well as with other organisations such as WBA and 3GPP.

In these challenging times, this industry can only benefit from more collaboration, and the i3forum members are eager to engage with more of their partners and together shape our future for the benefit of all.

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