Thursday, November 15, 2007

Future of interconnectivity?

We all take it for granted that we are all connected. We don't care how, but when things go wrong we really get frustrated. Example if our internet gets slow, the voice quality drops, etc. I guess the magic word here is interconnectivity. Till now we have different ways for different services for interconnectivity. Example your internet goes through something else, your voice on different channels and maybe stuff like MMS/GPRS (GRX interconnect which lets you interchange MMS and enable GPRS roaming, maybe even IM) on others. So its really not really the ideal way if you look at the whole things. On top of all this some connectivities are just exclusive to Mobile Network Operators, etc thus restricting openness into these networks.

If we look at the whole thing and apply the case to todays world, its obvious IP is the solution. Why not over conventional IP via the internet? Well I guess the problem here is quality of service. Initially the internet was not designed to be commercial; it was just designed to be used by US defense department and a few universities. This resulted in not so ideal design. Some might disagree with me on this, but thats the reality. Some times the quality of the internet we experience is really not what we are promised by the ISP's and what we pay for. This has been kinda accepted by almost everyone, without complains.

IP based services on the mobiles is the future. No question about it. It can deliver voice, images , rich content to innovative messaging solutions. To enable all this while ensuring quality of service and which is commercially feasible and manageable IP Interconnectivity the the proposed solution. IPI is the new proposed solution by worlds GSM association. This is presently at a development and a trial level. A few carriers and operators are active in making this a reality. Few trial runs have already been conducted since OCT 2007. Mostly its just voice which is being currently being trailed on and from what I was presented today, its really promising. The IPI will carry everything and anything. The beauty of it is IPI will ensure that the needed quality of service is maintained between each IPX, meaning it will enable end to end QoS for all IP Services enabling consistent and predictable service delivery between end customers. IPI is designed to maintain different levels of QoS for different services. Example services like SMS, emails, etc can be at a different QoS level and other more demanding services like Voice, Video and other content can be maintained at other higher levels. This promised the end customers the expected quality of service ensuring a rich user experience.

On top of the user experience, there are other many advantages to the operators. Such as a more secure network, a sustainable commercial model, universal interoperability (not just limiting the network to MNO's, but even ISP's and ASP's can connect in) and other advantages like being highly efficient and scalable. Its just at the infant stage as of today but what I can tell you is this is the future, this is what will enable us to go for the real "eat all you can" model. And yeah it was also interesting for me to find out that on IPI I guess voice is delivered via SIP-I (after all its IP based anyway). So again, its almost clear that IPI will replace GRX, or rather its gonna enhance the current GRX over IPI. The other biggest advantage I see is that if I am not mistaken, it makes things so simpler for interconnectivity where once you are connected to one IPX you are connected to the all the rest of the operators who are connected to that IPX.

Even though I am not into switching, its kinda interesting to follow up on this which gives you a better idea on where the industry is heading and forecast somethings.

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