Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The i3 Forum

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, Next Generation Network (NGN) interconnection is a popular topic. On June 2nd, the opening plenary at the International Telecoms Week (ITW) conference in Washington D.C. was an announcement made by the International Interconnect Forum for IP services, also known as the i3 Forum. The i3 Forum was founded in Q3 2007 by the following eight international carriers:

- ATT Wholesale
- DT ICSS
- France Telecom Orange
- SingTel
- Telecom Italia Sparkle
- Telefonica
- Telekomunikacja Polska
- TeliaSonera

These eight carriers claim to represent 40% of all international traffic and serve more than 1 billion customers in 80 countries.

The mission and focus of the i3 Forum will be to provide specifications, based on existing standards, which can be used by the international wholesale carriers for migration of voice services to IP technology and IP-based multimedia services. The i3 Forum is not a standards body and will make use of existing standards from the ITU, ETSI-TISPAN, IETF and 3GPP. The group plans to liaise with other industry bodies with similar/competing interests such as GSMA and IPIA.

This group of former PTTs point out that domestic interconnection standards for TDM/IP or IP/IP are outside the scope of their mission. It seems to me that NGN interconnect, like the Internet, would not be constrained by geographic boundaries. But, since this is a group of PTTs that must feel the threat of wireless operators, I assume that it is best for them to keep local telecom interconnection a non-standard practice that creates an obstacle for new competing local carriers.

1 comment:

Lokdeep said...

Jim,

Why do you think i3 should see wireless operators as a threat.Don't the wireless operators need international carriers to provide IP interconnect.

Also what is your opinion re GSMA IPX. Are the i3forum's activities aligned with that?

Lokdeep (lokdeep@gmail.com)