i3forum announces first nine members to use Insights market database

philippe millet 16x9.jpg

Wholesale carrier association i3forum has announced the first nine companies that are using its market data service.

The organisation, whose 25 existing members were joined by Clear, Digicel and Lanck Telecom in December 2019, said today that nine of the 28 will use i3forum Insights, its market database.

Philippe Millet (pictured), the Orange executive who chairs i3forum, said: “The launch of i3forum Insights is a real milestone for our organisation. It demonstrates our ability to bring together carriers from across the globe to create a not-for-profit, industry controlled platform that supports the sustainability and optimisation of voice businesses. It provides an opportunity to unlock new potential in voice with data-driven insights.”

The first nine users of the service are BICS, BTS, iBasis, Orange, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, Sparkle, Telefónica International Wholesale Services and Telstra.

Each of them will be able to compare its own individual data against aggregated data provided by all participating carriers using an analytics engine. i3forum said that “individual data provided by each carrier is kept 100% anonymous and confidential at all times with no other party able to access it”.

The project has been more than a year in the making. Tata Communications’ senior VP, Christian Michaud, first spoke about the project at Capacity Asia in Hong Kong at the end of 2018, when he said the data collected would include “voice minutes, quality of service and revenue parameters, organised by destination”, as well as by mobile and fixed.

“We would like to be more granular. It gives us a benchmark for the participants. It will be for the carriers. We don’t intend to publish the reports,” he said at the time.

Research company TeleGeography won the contract from i3forum to collect and distribute the data to the participating companies.

Millet said: “Since its inception, i3forum Insights has been driven by carriers and it will continue to evolve with the active participation and input from new and existing members.”

In December 2018 Michaud told Capacity that i3forum hopes later to create a global numbering database. This would involve assembling information from carriers, government agencies and aggregators, he said. “The reality today is that the information is not there. Carriers have their own database and they have to update monthly. It’s a cost centre and it’s not efficient.”

A problem is that numbering information can be incomplete and different sources provide conflicting data, he explained. “We have 250 sources, 500 perhaps, and they’re in different formats.” Inconsistencies provide opportunities for fraudsters, he added.