by Chris Lennartz, VP Mobile Solutions, Product Management
ROCCO, the ‘Michelin of the roaming and interconnect industry’ released the results of the annual IPX Vendor Performance survey last month, and its results were again interesting. Not only does the survey look at who is providing the best service, but also it looks at requirements, challenges, and business focus of mobile operators working with IPX.
Let’s have a look at these first. The Top 3 IPX requirements for 2019 were Security as number 1, closely followed by Speed of Connection to new roaming partners and tied for a third place were Network Coverage (number of PoPs) and Intelligence about compatibility issues (with MNOs and other IPXs). Interesting to see that Security made a big jump to number 1 this year, illustrating that MNOs are getting increasingly worried about the insecurities of the signaling network, especially with influx of billions of IoT devices all having access to it. We redid the survey on a smaller scale with our own customers at the iBASIS customer event in September and the results was comparable, with Security and Quality of Service ending up as winners.
In terms of biggest IPX challenges, there were four: Security (again), peering, bandwidth, and 5G readiness. And with respect to IPX Business focus, the leaders were VoLTE Roaming, 5G Roaming, and LTE roaming. So this all may sounds a bit dispersed, but it really isn’t. Operators see the huge potential of 5G and would like to start as soon as possible, but they realize the 5G challenge is significant, especially when it comes to security (with Massive IoT), bandwidth scaling (with Enhanced Mobile Broadband), and quality (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications), while at the same time they are monetizing LTE roaming and apparently still struggle with time to market for new LTE roaming partners across the IPX ecosystem and the introduction of VoLTE roaming.
This is where iBASIS comes in. Amidst all the insecurities that surround the disruption towards 5G and the introduction of VoLTE roaming, iBASIS has ranked as Tier 1 IPX for the third year in a row with the highest general rating of all. And what’s most important, with a clear number 1 position on ‘Most Trusted IPX Partner’, which indicates that our customers trust us most to address the plethora of roaming and interconnect challenges that they will be faced with in a market that continually demands more for less and that is facing some disruptions. In the words of ROCCO: ”Trust is hard to accomplish and must be built, but is probably the most important leadership criteria of all, since it typically creates a client-vendor relationship that grows and grows.”