2019 – A Year of Collaboration and Action
We have had a lot of success over the last 10 years supporting the international carrier community. This year we will be working on a number of initiatives that go beyond what we’ve done in the past and give carriers new tools for growing and optimising their businesses. As a not-for-profit, membership funded forum, our aim is to remain focused on delivering actionable recommendations and solutions for the whole community.
In 2018, we built a solid foundation for this next step and that has included creating recommendations, supporting our workgroups and exploring new ways to accelerate transformation amongst the international carrier community. We’re extremely proud of the work our members have done and are extremely pleased to see the wider community adopting our recommendations and getting involved.
Our Technology workgroup had another successful year in 2018. They have worked on some of the biggest challenges facing IMS and enabling advanced communication services. 2019 will bring new challenges for the workgroup who are aiming to tackle topics such as IoT Traffic Management and Roaming Security whilst continuing into phase 2 of defining Call Line Identification.
Fraud was a widely discussed topic this year in the carrier industry as further developments were made in the prevention and identification of fraudsters. We were excited to see the i3forum featured in numerous publications globally talking about its work in Fraud and promoting this cause for the benefit of the entire community.
Together with the ITW Global Leaders Forum (GLF), we launched a code of conduct to combat fraud in international telecoms. The Code of Conduct was developed to give all players in the global Carrier ecosystem steps to protect their business and stop fraudsters from profiting from criminal activity.
i3forum has always stressed the importance of collaboration within the industry so it was great to see so many influential players come together to try and resolve obstacles that we all face as part of the Carrier ecosystem.
In 2018, we saw the addition of 3 new members to i3forum. In October WIS and Tofane Global became the newest members to enable further transformation and collaboration in the industry. December saw Netaxis Solutions become the latest addition to i3forum bringing fresh insights into IP communications and the challenges we face as an industry, integrating a unique perspective and great experience into our workgroups.
We’re delighted by the progress that has been made in 2018. Our workgroups will continue to solve some of the biggest issues facing our industry and produce recommendations for combatting these problems, whilst our work to fight fraud will continue into the next phase of development. We are hitting the ground running in 2019 with new initiatives to enable transformation and collaboration in the carrier ecosystem and be in a position to grow the number of carriers engaging in the industry conversation.
Priorities for 2019
In 2019, we will focus on delivering some new initiatives while continuing to support carrier transformation with our workgroups and recommendations. We’re adding some new things to the i3forum and that is about serving carriers and solving challenges with collaborative solutions. We want to adapt and change with the industry and ensure the carrier community is in the best possible position to meet their goals.
Here are a few things we’re working on 2019:
- Market Database Initiative – This year at Capacity Asia we announced our plans to deliver two new initiatives. Our market database initiative will offer a deeper insight into the voice markets’ volume and revenue size and will give further granularity at regional level, types of traffic and quality parameters. It will be an online service available to members and non-members of i3forum to deliver a service ‘by carriers, for carriers’
- Numbering Plan – We have recognised the need for a more comprehensive and central numbering plan for carriers. International carriers depend on accurate and current information within numbering plans for a variety of mission critical activities. We have identified an opportunity to build a single reference platform for participating carriers to be able to access specific sources and share any updates so that every carrier can benefit. We have set-up a specific workgroup to further explore this initiative and we are excited to see how this progresses in 2019.
- Building Our Blockchain Workgroup – We saw a lot of developments in Blockchain in carrier business in 2018 and we want to accelerate adoption and ensure interoperability. We’ve launched a Blockchain workgroup that will bring together the people who have participated in various industry trials and Proof of Concept (PoC) initiatives on multiple use cases such as Voice Settlement (e.g. the GLF led PoC), Bandwidth on demand, Fight against Fraud, Roaming and others. We have long-term goals but we feel the time is right to initiate industry collaboration around Blockhain.
- Growing Participation Across the Carrier Community – We want to encourage conversation within the industry and drive innovation through collaboration. Whether you are a regional network operator or a global Tier 1 carrier, we value diversity and encourage the wider community to get involved and make their voices heard. At the same time, we are encouraging all of our members to actively engage in workgroups and to share their knowledge and expertise for the industry to benefit from. We’re attending events throughout the year, sharing our progress, listening to the carrier community and actively encouraging participation from new and existing members.
- Collaborating with Others – We believe that collaboration is the key to success in our industry. We continue to work with other industry bodies such as the GLF and GSMA to develop best practice, recommendations and solutions to have a positive impact on the Carrier ecosystem. We would love to see more and more organisations sign the Code of Conduct to further combat the issue of fraud in Global Wholesale Telecoms, for example. We will actively reach out to our partners throughout the year so that we can tackle a growing number of carriers challenges together.
This Time Next Year
By this time next year, we will have made progress on our Numbering Plan and Market Database initiatives. I believe we will have new members signed up to the Code of Conduct for fighting fraud and some new joint initiatives in the pipeline. I also expect our membership to grow with new members joining to contribute new perspective and ideas to our conversations.
I want to see more organisations sharing their thoughts and bringing new challenges to the i3forum so that we can solve them together. We have proven our value in TDM to IP migration, Voice Fraud and other areas. Together, we can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our industry.
We’re looking forward to delivering new tools that will directly benefit the industry and continuing our mission to accelerate carrier transformation across the globe.