TI Sparkle and iBasis ink LTE roaming agreement

The carrier services arm of Telecom Italia, TI Sparkle, has announced an LTE roaming peering agreement with wholesaler iBasis, a subsidiary of Dutch operator group KPN.

The agreement builds on an existing IPX (IP Exchange) interconnect agreement signed between the two in 2012, which enables live traffic including signalling, voice and data roaming, as well as end-to-end QoS.

The updated agreement enables operators to add IPX-enabled solutions to their propositions, such as LTE roaming, the firms said.

“Providing seamless LTE roaming to mobile service providers through our Diameter Signalling is very important for TI Sparkle as it fulfils our promise of developing solutions that provide and facilitate interoperability among operators,” said Elisabetta Ripa, TI Sparkle CEO.

Willem Offerhaus, iBasis CEO, added that mobile operators around the world are now completing their LTE rollouts and are beginning to see the complexities involved in offering a consistent LTE experience while roaming.

The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

“Our LTE Signaling eXchange service solves the technical challenges, and peering agreements like this one with Telecom Italia Sparkle are vitally important to deliver the global footprint required to make LTE roaming a reality,” he said.

But there is stiff competition from broad reaching carrier services groups. Last week, Vodafone Carrier Services CEO Brian Fitzpatrick told that the operator will have one of, if not, the largest IPX infrastructure in the world once its development is complete. He said that with operator projects on this scale “the industry doesn’t need third party IPX”, such as those offered by Aicent, Sybase 365, Syniverse and TNS among others.

“What we’re doing, pointing the industry towards an IPX access, is quite threatening to third party aggregators, because for the first time their business model is in question,” said Fitzpatrick.

“We’re eliminating quite a few of these third parties that are only in the food chain because there wasn’t an alternative.”

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