Telstra Global's director of products and marketing, Nathan Bell, told ExchangeDaily that the IPX enabled mobile operators to break out roamers' Internet traffic from their own network rather than backhauling it across the world to the roamer's home network. "Without the IPX, if you have someone travelling to Hong Kong and accessing a local web site on their mobile that traffic gets tromboned all the way to their home network and back to Hong Kong. It's very inefficient."
Tejaswini Tilak, global head of carrier services at Telstra Global, added: "This is not just about providing the transport functionality to exchange data; is about providing a critical mobility management functionality which helps build a lot of scalability into roaming relationships because we can help facilitate the exchange of signalling traffic, ensuring that end users are always connected no matter where they are."
The IPX also enables mobile operators to offer high profile customers and businesses end-to-end SLAs across multiple networks. Bell said that, at present, a business might get an SLA from one operator into a global roaming exchange (GRX), another from the GRX provider and one for the provider on the other side. "What we are doing is removing that and giving one SLA from home to the destination market.
A third function of the IPX is as platform for value-adding applications that mobile operators can tap into to offer applications to their end users, without having to make significant upfront investments.
"For operators trying to move beyond talk and text we are talking to application providers to host their application framework so a mobile operators could access those application on a trial basis or pay-as-you-use basis to give them much more flexibility and the opportunity to experiment with different application in different segments," Bell said.
He added that this functionality was proving to be the most attractive to potential customers. "We thought when we started that this would be all about roaming but the feedback we have received from operators we have been talking to is that we were the only people talking to them about growth rather than cutting costs
"That is were the large opportunities are. Mobile operators are looking for new ways of delivering services, to move beyond talk and text, and they are all aware of the over the top operators moving in on their space.
"For example, there is a gaming company that is looking to set up shop in Asia and the mobile operators are very excited but it is hard for them to justify the multimillion dollar investment in infrastructure. However, if the gaming provider knows he can address multiple operators through a single infrastructure, that is much more attractive."
Bell said that Telstra and its Hong Kong mobile subsidiary, CSL, were presently gearing up to use the IPX to support international roaming for LTE services and "There are a couple of others that are keen to work with us but that we can't announce yet."
He said the IPX had been largely developed by Telstra Global in-house by combining its existing GRX - inherited when the former Reach joint venture with PCCW was absorbed into Telstra - with its class of-service-enabled MPLS network. "The [supplier of] the mobility management piece we can't disclose but the rest of the infrastructure has been developed within Telstra Global, leveraging the development we did around GRX and also the class of service capability of our core network."