Telefónica and Telenor now have the potential to reach 400 million LTE subscribers across the globe after their wholesale divisions agreed an IP Exchange (IPX) deal.
Telefónica Global Solutions, which manages the Spanish incumbent's international wholesale and roaming business, and Telenor Global Services--the international carrier of Telenor Group--agreed a peering interconnection deal that covers roaming signalling services including SS7 over Sigtran, LTE Diameter, and IPX Transport for Data Roaming for 2G and 3G, and LTE.
The partners said that the global interconnection deal will enable their local (national) operations to forge any-to-any connections, and that the service can be extended to other on-net service providers.
Crucially, the agreement also opens the door to a potential 400 million LTE subscribers in 30 countries throughout the Nordic region, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The companies added that the partnership also offers end-to-end quality and security features, and is in full compliance with GSMA and i3Forum IPX guidelines.
Bjørn Iversen, CEO of Telenor Global Services, said the partnership will enable the "mobile operators of the two Groups to easily expand their global business," while also providing "seamless international LTE/4G roaming".
Subscribers are increasingly demanding flawless services when roaming, Juan Revilla, CEO of the wholesale business unit within Telefónica Global Solutions, added. Subscribers are "demanding from us greater speed, end-to-end quality, security and reach," he noted.
The companies said the IPX connection can easily be ramped up to handle voice over LTE (VoLTE), and will also work with legacy interconnection services.
Speakers at the LTE Voice Summit in London last month said that IPX will play a crucial role in enabling VoLTE roaming, and that IPX providers can help the industry overcome interoperability problems between operator networks.
Telenor Global Services launched an LTE Exchange gateway in December 2013 that offers operators global roaming services for the technology. The service uses the diameter signalling protocol, and offers guaranteed levels of service quality and security.
- see this Telefonica announcement [PDF]
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