“If you build it, they will come” – the tagline from Kevin Costner’s global hit film Field of Dreams is not out of place when describing the future of the telecoms industry.
Global carriers, whether they be providing mobile or fixed services, need to think differently and have a cultural change when it comes to how the industry is going to deal with ever increasing demands for data transfer.
This was the overriding message which came out of the recent Carriers World/IPX Summit in London which saw wholesale operators, global specialists, manufacturers, and industry analysts converge to discuss where telecoms expects to be heading in the next few years.
Top on the agenda was the move to IPX – Internetwork Packet eXchange – the technology for connecting all IP networks, enabling an easy interface between new and legacy networks that is creating a standard platform for the future of wholesale voice and data services.
According to SmartIPX’s CEO Paul Tindley, attending the two day summit alongside partners Epsilon and Cataleya, the only way global wholesale carriers can scale to meet demand at the price points being dictated is by adopting the IPX standard network platform.
“Everyone is implementing or planning to adopt the full IPX network whereas before they were using it only for pain points. By creating the IPX standards for voice, video, data mobility be it over mobile or fixed – this is the only way to remove cost and complexity out of the legacy network and reduce the cost of transition while doing so,” he added.
Over the next 18 months Tindley said he expected to see a major expansion in IPX services. His opinion was also supported by iBasis CEO Willem Offerhaus, who spoke at the opening session at Carriers World.
Wholesale carriers have a role to play
He said wholesale operators have a role to play in creating consistency and interoperability as new mobile services take off. Consumers are racing ahead with the adoption of new services, which should be good news for retail telecoms providers.
But for the wholesale network operators underpinning the industry, new services without standards present a serious challenge.
“It’s really going to be difficult to make enough money on these services if there is no standardisation. We have different versions of VoLTE, we have different versions of RCS (Rich Communications Services), we have many versions of LTE,” Offerhaus said.
“We are not able, with our current margins, to sustain our business if we’re not working in standardised environments…The implementation is just way too complex.”
However, that lack of standardisation could also present an opportunity for wholesalers.
“There is a place for the wholesale operator,” said Nick Ford, president of carrier services at IDT Telecom.
He agreed with Offerhaus that more work needs to be done on VoLTE, for example. “The standards around it are very loose. The industry needs wholesale operators to help make networks and services interoperable.
“There is an opportunity for wholesalers to “sit in the middle and make it work,” because at the moment it is not clearly defined,” Ford added.
* SmartIPX manages telco, public and private cloud interconnects for communication service providers, MVNO and SaaS organisations enabling unified communications for the B2B and Enterprise sectors. Talk to us today about partnering for growth.
“Our shared services model aligns our people and expertise, with agile, best in class infrastructure solutions, to reduce our customers’ capex and opex costs. We have built a full IPX capability covering both signalling, roaming and transit for voice, video and data,” said Tindley.
“We have continued to invest in our operational engagement with key service enabling partners such as Epsilon, which consistently enables us to surpass our customers’ expectations on performance agility and delivery time frames. Our managed services partners rely on us to deliver IP communications that are not just ‘best effort’ but industry–leading.”
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