i3forum to launch global traffic database at ITW

12 February 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Vendors bidding to start and maintain the i3forum’s global database of telecoms traffic have until Wednesday next week to submit their offers.

The i3forum, an organisation of international telecoms companies, has invited six vendors to bid for the project, out of eight that were initially interested.

The winner will be announced in April, i3forum vice chair Christian Michaud told Capacity, with a formal launch planned for International Telecoms Week (ITW) in Atlanta in June.

Michaud, who is a senior VP at Tata Communications, first gave details of the project at Capacity Asia in Hong Kong in December 2018. Then he said that the data collected would be “voice minutes, quality of service and revenue parameters, organised by destination”, as well as classified according to mobile and fixed.

i3forum members as well as non-members will be able to subscribe to the database, Michaud told Capacity this week. “I expect [the contract] will be multi-year,” he said, especially as “we anticipate a cost to build [the database] and then to run it.”

The organisation has a longer-term plan to expand from the voice market to messaging and other services. “We will be expecting the platform to evolve.” In December he told Capacity Asia that i3forum was eventually hoping to create a global numbering database. This will involve assembling information from carriers, government agencies and aggregators, said Michaud in Hong Kong. “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.”

But detailed planning will start only when the favourite company is picked from a shortlist of two or three and before the ITW announcement.

Bidders for the work include telecoms market specialists and “smaller analyst companies associated with data specialists”. Most “are people we’ve heard about”, he said. But he would not give Capacity any of the names of the companies interested in the i3forum project.