A few weeks ago, I spoke at the US Telecom “Voice Innovation Summit”. I was placed in the part of the conference titled “From POTS to Communication Free-For-all”. My point of view is that even though yes, there are many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many different types of IP Networks, it really doesn’t have to be a free-for-all. First of all, connectivity is happening today, so it’s fine in a certain respect. But it can clearly get better, and if you are running a business and need to connect from one country to another, IPX is one such framework to stop the chaos.
This blog is not going to be a treatise on IPX and if you want to learn more about it, please read our whitepaper here.
What I spoke about is that because of different types of signaling on IP networks (because of SIP variants for instance) and because of different types of media for the IP networks (different voice and video codecs), and that fact that the IP networks still need to connect to the PSTN, you get into a need to translate all of these things when crossing network boundaries. This is no different than before, and why gateways exist. However, in the IP centric world, this is why Session Border Controllers exist.
But carriers don’t want to run their services over the public internet. There isn’t any control over the quality, nor the security. So the IPX framework deals with this. It’s essentially a very large private IP network. So if you are IPX enabled, then as you cross network boundaries the signaling and media conversion is taken care of, and the security as well. One can join and participate just as a pipe (called bilateral transport), or be service aware and charge for minutes for instance (called bilateral service transport) or be a multilateral service hub, which is where the QoS and this differentiated, premium services can live.
I then gave some examples of different networks and their needs when crossing boundaries, such as fixed networks to mobile networks (even if both are IP), etc.
If one thinks of the IPX as a big “cloud” then you can put IPX aware equipment in there that can accommodate transcoding, etc. I gave an example of a live press conference demo we did at the past CTIA – where we demonstrated mobile video conferencing on the Verizon network where we had a few people on the LTE network in New Orleans, one on the 3G network in Times Square, one on a WiFi network and one on a wired IP network, all with differing endpoints. It worked. But imagine if we had tried this from different countries! No way at this time. But if IPX was in place, it definitely could have worked.
So in summary, if you don’t know about IPX and want to learn more, go read something. But IPX is a mechanism that can provide for internetworking with IP and legacy networks, can be a platform for enabling value added offerings that enhance the user experience, and can be a common platform for cost efficient optimal global routing of IP traffic. A way to end pending chaos.