IPX or an IP packet exchange is an IP based interconnect platform which would enable multiple service providers of various services to interconnect with each other.
To put it simply let me just thrash out a few usage scenario:
- Dharma, a skype user can make an audio call onto Greg, a yahoo user
- Richie a Vodafone subscriber can use RCS (Rich communication suite) to video conference with his business partner in Paris who is on the Orange network
- Salim can make an HD quality voice call from his home in Alaska to his father in India on his mobile phone
To summarise an IPX would enable any two IP based network anywhere in the world to communicate with each other.
This as a concept around for several years back but the buzz got only got feverish now.
Why you ask?
Because 1 : There is a slew of new services that have started to develop lately which would convert IPX from a good to have to an absolute necessity. Like..
With the attack of the likes of skype and other internet based audio/video calling, conferencing and messaging services the telecom operators around the world have been pushed to the wall so much so that they have started to answer the call for better solutions.
Better Solution 1: Rich communication suite – RCS for one is an embedded suite of communications tools which would be native to a mobile handset which a service provider like Vodafone would provide its users so that he can for example make HD video calls with other Vodafone subscribers. If such solutions are to garner general acceptance it should be operable across countries and across service providers and should guarantee reliable connectivity.
Better Solution 2: HD Audio – Traditional audio on mobile phones that we are currently so used to could soon change drastically with the development of wideband codecs such as AMR-WB which has the potential to transform the way we listen to phone conversations. Till HD TV wasn’t around we felt that cable television was pretty good. Similarly until the time we get used to HD audio an average subscriber would not feel that there’s anything wrong with the existing.
Better Solution 3: HD Video conferencing – Enterprise conferencing has moved from standard audio and video to HD grade. To make this possible across networks and geographies a high quality interconnect platform becomes necessary
Because 2: Increase in international calling not matched by increase in revenues for wholesale carriers have forced them to look at new revenue streams.
Wholesale carriers are pretty much sitting ducks who watch silently as the international calling market has been taken away by internet based service providers.
Wholesale Carriers around the world are seeing that their market is being taken away by over the top players who seemed to be enjoying a free meal having not made any investments in laying undersea cables several rounds around the globe.
Carriers see IPX as a value add which would help them charge a premium for services which demand high quality. They also see in IPX an opportunity to get rid of the so called wild west in international wholesale market which is plagued by false answers, quality issues, billing issues and so on.
Several major carriers especially the ones based out of Europe has led the charge in the IPX revelution. But this change is only going to gather momentum as IPX grade interconnects between these carriers get to a certain threshold wherein service providers can provide guaranteed end to end IPX based interconnects between any two corners of the world.
That time is nigh ..