The GSMA and i3forum announce IPX interconnection agreements at ITW 2013

16 May 2013 | Kavit Majithia

The GSMA and i3forum have announced an agreement to accelerate the take up of IP eXchange (IPX) based on interconnection agreements through live commercial pilots from voice traffic.

The development, announced at ITW 2013 yesterday, has been struck in an effort to ensure the push towards IPX services remains an important strategy for carriers to address.

A move towards an IPX-based model creates an environment for interoperable voice services based on IP networks, and also allows for next-generation services including Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Global operators including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, TeliaSonera and Vodafone have all conducted pilots for voice over IPX this year. Capacity Daily also reported on a deal yesterday between Tata Communications and iBasis for an IPX peering agreement.

Representatives from a range of operators sat on a panel session yesterday at ITW 2013 discussing the merits of the agreement, and Alexandre Pebereau, EVP international carriers at Orange heralded the agreement as “another opportunity to show that wholesale moves as a community”.

He said: “For us, mobile is the future and through concrete delivery, we again show we are a concrete industry with pragmatic solutions.”

Alex Sinclair, CTO at the GSMA believes the move towards an all IP-world will mean more customers will demand high quality and high reliability for voice services. “By providing global interoperability, this initiative will help to drive the widespread deployment of services such as VoLTE, with the same quality of service that consumers have come to expect.”

I3forum carrier members had been working to create a set of standards, guidelines and best practices to ensure the carrier industry were able to achieve a solid base for IPX implementation. “By partnering with the GSMA, we can share that knowledge with the mobile industry to quickly deploy IPX interconnects to scale, delivering enhanced quality and reliability for existing and new IP communication services,” said Philippe Millet, chairman of the i3forum.”

According to the companies involved, the pilot will pave the way for technical and commercial agreements necessary to use IPX to interconnect any voice services. It is hoped the results will lead to the effective migration of live voice traffic to an IP-based interconnect for the new services, and prove a major stepping stone towards interoperable communication services, including VoLTE and RCS.

Allan Chan, president, global carrier solutions at Tata Communications added: “As an operator that has connected both fixed-line and mobile operators, its very exciting for us to see a platform for IP convergence that’s not just based on voice, but for all future services.”