4G Data Exchange: Another Option Arises For Mobile Operators

At a briefing last week, I spoke with Tejaswini Tilak, global head of carrier services at Telstra, who updated me on its newly launched mobile operator IPX (IP Exchange) platform. Marketed as the Telstra Global IPX Service, this service aims to enhance international roaming and next-generation mobility services for operators seeking to exchange long-term evolution (LTE) data traffic. The service promises:

  • An optimized network. Using a single channel, the Telstra Global IPX Service allows mobile operators to optimize their networks to accommodate growing mobile data consumption while providing end users with a consistent customer experience.
  • Greater efficiency. This is possible as it runs over a private network — Telstra Global’s own managed IP MPLS core network — which can maximize traffic on both legacy and new mobile platforms. 
  • Diameter signaling support. Telstra provides support for diameter signaling, a relatively new protocol that works with core IMS on IP data traffic. Tilak claims that Telstra will be able to set up multiple roaming agreements by acting as a diameter signaling hub and providing interoperability and mediation between different diameter deployments among mobile operators.
 
What It Means
If you’re a mobile network operator starting or expanding 4G services, this could be a viable option to evaluate alongside others already available on the market (e.g. Sybase and Tata). Telstra offers:
  • A single point of control in IPX. Telstra Global owns a number of undersea cables, has more than 20 points of presence around the globe, and has two redundant diameter routing hubs in the region. This translates into the scale and connectivity needed as mobile operators grow their user bases around the globe and exchange traffic with other partners.
  • Customization and flexibility. This platform will allow mobile operators to offer tailored roaming packages, resulting in better value for money and quality of service for their customers’ data needs.
Without fully kicking the tires (that is, speaking with users), it’s a reasonable offering from Telstra Global. Telstra has already signed up some since they launched in August, with more in the pipeline. Pricing for the Global IPX service is based on port bandwidth for international traffic and class of service and a monthly recurring charge for diameter signaling as a service.
 
Bottom line: Allow the service gain a bit more maturity to reap the network analytics that Telstra is putting on its menu of services.