Thursday, August 20, 2009

4G Roaming, Pathfinder and IP eXchange

some interesting news about the GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) - from

>>Beginning in 2000 the GSMA developed the GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) which acts as a hub for GPRS connections between roaming users, eliminating the need for dedicated links between GPRS mobile operators. A GRX is typically based on a private or public IP backbone using GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP), and each GRX service provider has a network of routers and links connecting to GPRS operator networks. For operators this allows quicker implementation of roaming partners, faster time to market for new operators and lower capital expenditures.

The first full-service, scalable GRX Peering Exchange (GPE) was established in 2001 at the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), the world’s largest single metro-area Internet exchange. More than 20 GRX operators and hundreds of mobile network operators currently exchange GPRS roaming traffic with each other at one or more of the four AMS-IX GRX peering locations in Amsterdam. In 2008, the AMS-IX GRX peering exchange was co-located in the AM1 Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data center, which was acquired and developed by Equinix, a leading global provider of network-neutral data centers and Internet exchange services. The result was the first global multi-party peering point which facilitates mobile data roaming as a core component in enabling a truly global mobile Internet. Since 2008, GSMA selected Equinix to establish two additional peering exchange points in its Singapore and Washington, DC IBX centers for the interconnection of GRX operators seeking to expand their coverage for mobile operator customers in the United States and Asia. There are now three common neutral peering points for GRX service providers that wish to exchange mobile Internet traffic with their peers of choice. GRX peering is a fully-managed Ethernet switching infrastructure that facilitates the exchange of “mobile Internet” traffic and the GPE switching platform has a redundant architecture designed to improve resiliency and increase port density.

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