August 14, 2009
Helping Service Providers Prepare for Next-Gen IP Multimedia, Services: XConnect
By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor
Though many companies are switching over from legacy PSTN voice to next-gen IP networking, questions remain about how quickly service providers can deploy sophisticated multimedia and geo- and presence-aware IP communications services, the head of an international company that offers Interconnect 2.0 Federation services, including registry-based Carrier ENUM and next-gen multimedia interconnection hub solutions, told TMCnet in an interview.
According to Eli Katz – CEO of XConnect (News - Alert), whose U.S. offices are headquartered in Tarrytown, N.Y. – questions also loom about how quickly SPs can route those services to endpoints found among other providers.
“As a global leader in network peering, trusted by more than 100 IP-based service providers to supply neutral, secure, federation-based interconnection and ENUM-registry services, XConnect offers the quickest, most comprehensive and most reliable avenue toward that goal for service providers,” Katz told TMC (News - Alert) CEO Rich Tehrani in an interview.
Katz – who is speaking during sessions titled “HD Voice and Network Interconnection” and “Effective IP Peering Strategies” at ITEXPO West 2009, to be held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles – also told Tehrani that XConnect can reduce interconnection costs, improve service quality and simplify operations, while enabling rich multimedia on a cross-network basis.
“Our credentials include operating the largest worldwide ENUM-based IP-peering federation and the world’s first national VoIP/NGN interconnection federations,” Katz said.
Their full exchange follows.
Rich Tehrani (News - Alert): What has the economic crisis taught you, and how has it changed your customers?
Eli Katz (News - Alert) (pictured left): We have always had a strong focus on return on investment, and this has stood us in good stead during the downturn.
From a customer perspective, the evaluation criteria for projects have become more stringent with greater focus on capex and opex. At the same time, service providers recognize that they must continue their migration to next-generation IP networks, and with that, to realize a payback on their investments by keeping their addressable market as wide as possible. That’s why they cannot consider their migration efforts finished until the inter-network peering scheme is implemented as well.
RT: How is this down economy affecting your decisions to reinvest in your company or market, if at all? Where will you invest?
EK: We continue to invest in areas of the business where we see growth opportunities particularly in areas that will drive interconnection and peering globally. Most recently, we have invested significantly in upgrading our system capabilities, as well as deploying a new interconnection hub in Asia.
RT: What’s the strongest segment in the communications industry?
EK: Technologies and services that underpin/enable the drive toward unified/converged communications are strongest.
RT: With the rise of smartphones and netbooks, many wireless technologies, such as WiFi (News - Alert), appear to be poised for rapid growth. For example, we’re seeing more and more airlines add in-flight WiFi. In general, how widespread should WiFi be, in your view?
EK: I would expect and encourage the widespread growth of WiFi because increased availability of broadband, especially in the mobile area, is essential for the growth of IP communication services.
RT: Which nation or region of the world will present the largest opportunity for your company in 2009/10?
EK: While the demand for our services is global, markets having these key characteristics create the most opportunity for XConnect:
· High VoIP penetration rates
· Large numbers of service providers completing migration to NGN networks
· Roll-out of voice-and-data IP services
· Availability of number portability or plans to implement it
RT: What device or devices do you use, and what do you wish you used?
EK: I need to have access when traveling, so I find my Windows Mobile smart phone – especially my mobile VoIP app – essential, as well as my laptop.
RT: I understand you are speaking during ITEXPO West, to be held Sept. 1 to 3 in Los Angeles. Describe your talk and tell us what companies or people should attend.
EK: I will be on two panels.
A discussion of “Effective IP Peering Strategies” will cover:
· Requirements for Interconnect 2.0 – the next-generation, multilateral interconnect model that consists of two elements: a carrier ENUM registry and a multimedia interconnection hub.
· What can be learned from IP peering, how it can be applied to Interconnect 2.0, and how it will differ from old models.
The session will be valuable for service providers, be they fixed or mobile, including cable MNOs, CLECs, and VoIP operators. It also will benefit Web 2.0 players, as interconnection will form a key part of their strategy going forward.
The other panel, also helpful to service providers, will deal with “HD Voice and Network Interconnection.” It will:
· Discuss the pros and cons to various interconnect models in enabling HD voice.
· Explain how service providers can maximize the revenue opportunity of HD voice through Interconnect 2.0.
RT: Why should customers choose your company’s solutions? How do they justify the expense to management?
EK: The migration from legacy PSTN voice to next-generation, IP networking no longer poses a question of if, but when, and how fast: How fast can service providers deploy sophisticated multimedia, geo-aware, presence-aware IP communications services, and route them to endpoints found among other providers? And by extension, how fast can we reproduce the PSTN’s universal reach?
As a global leader in network peering, trusted by more than 100 IP-based service providers to supply neutral, secure, federation-based interconnection and ENUM-registry services, XConnect offers the quickest, most comprehensive and most reliable avenue toward that goal for service providers. At the same time, we can reduce interconnection costs, improve service quality and simplify operations, while enabling rich multimedia on a cross-network basis. Our credentials include operating the largest worldwide ENUM-based IP-peering federation and the world’s first national VoIP/NGN interconnection federations.
Learn more about XConnect. at ITEXPO West — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year. ITEXPO West will take place in Los Angeles, Sept. 1 to 3, 2009, featuring three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Don’t wait. Register now.
Follow ITEXPO on Twitter: twitter.com/itexpo
Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan