Frequently Asked Questions

Click on each question to open answer.

GENERAL

1. What is the purpose of the i3forum?

The i3forum, established in 2007, is an organization of the International Telecommunications ecosystem that brings together all stakeholders (International Carriers, Vendors, Enterprise Service Providers etc…) in order to help define best practices, promote and foster adoption of Industry transformation. It encourages innovation and competition and its work is made public.

2. What benefit does i3forum bring to the marketplace?

We are laying the foundations for industry transformation and shaping the essential building blocks that we must share in order for our businesses to thrive. In our world, innovation demands collaboration. The i3forum’s initial focus on expediting the international telecommunication’s industry transition to IP has subsequently been broadened. Its mission now is to act as an enabler and a catalyst for industry transformation. The i3forum is a not-for-profit, membership funded forum. It is not a standardization body. It works closely with other Industry organizations, avoiding duplication of work and focusing on actionable practical recommendations and solutions for the Int’l Carriers industry. The i3forum’s approach is open, simple and pragmatic.

3. What are the core i3forum deliverables?

The i3forum aims to :

  • Represent : the views of the International Carrier Ecosystem
  • Bring together : focus on topics that require joint work and collaboration across the Ecosystem
  • Transform : enable and facilitate the role of carriers in the timely emergence of new ecosystems, and new technical, operational and commercial models
  • Guide : publish recommendations for industry Stakeholders

4. How does the i3forum help me grow my business?

As a member of the i3forum,

I can share and learn from the community : get educated on industry trends and evolution, understand better the requirements of my customers and the market environment, benchmark my own practices, strategies, products…

I can benefit from community actions and work : leverage i3forum’s work in order to develop the right approach & make the right decisions, use i3forum’s recommendations & best practices to streamline my business, save time, effort and money and speed up the implementation of the industry transformations that I need in order to develop my business

I can influence the community : shape drive the vision for the industry, understand and influence other industry stakeholders so they develop what I need, influence other industry bodies

I can promote my business with the community and the Industry : promote my vision, develop relationship, leverage i3forum’s brand to demonstrate compliance, enhance credibility, demonstrate quality.

5. Who is developing the i3forum recommendations?

Members of the i3forum participate in work groups directly reporting to the Board, that are created based on membership input, industry insight and Board priorities.

Our roadmap focuses on topics that require industry collaboration and is updated on an annual basis and discussed at our Annual Conference held in May in conjunction with ITW.

Work Groups agree their own objectives, timeline and organization for each work cycle which run from September to May. They generally strive to make public new documents (or updates) in time for the Annual Conference.

GOVERNANCE & OPERATIONAL

1. How is the i3forum governed and operated?

The i3forum is incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA. It is governed by several documents that can be accessed here : Bylaws, IPR and Antitrust policies, Work Group’s Procedures.

The i3forum is a not-for-profit, membership funded forum. It is not a standardization body.

2. Who runs the i3forum?

The governing body is the Board of Directors with currently 11 Board members. Board members elected among and by Full Members for a two years mandate (renewable). The Board is made up of 2/3 Int’l Carriers, 1/3 other categories (e.g. Vendors, ServiceProviders…). Board seat belongs to Member company, not individual.

3. What are the membership classes/levels?

The i3forum welcomes various categories of members from the International Telecommunications ecosystem :

  • International Carriers : telecom operators selling international wholesale (B2B) services : voice termination, IP transit, SMS & MMS termination, roaming services, signaling, managed and unmanaged data transport…
  • Other Telecom Operators including Service Providers, OTTs…
  • Vendors : network equipment, IT, services (e.g. hosting, clearing house, testing) …
  • Other partners : Institutions, Industry organizations, Media partners and analysts, Individuals… Such organizations can only be Partners.

The following Membership Tiers are be available :

  • Board Member (elected by and among Full Members) – Board elects a Chairperson, a Treasurer and a Secretary.
  • Full Member – can contribute and vote. Can be elected as Chair of Working Group and as Board Member
  • Observer Member – can attend Work Groups but not eligible to WG Chair or Board, and no voting rights
  • Partners: similar to Observer Member but reserved and mandatory Tiers for members that are not Int’l Carriers, Operators or Vendors

Annual Membership Dues as of May 2016 :

  • Board members : 15,000 USD.
  • Full members : 10,000 USD
  • Observer members : 7,000 USD
  • Partners : free (reserved for Institutions, Industry organizations, Media partners and analysts, Individuals…)

4. How do I join a Working Group?

Your company needs to be a Full or Observer Member in order to be able to send participants to Work Groups and Support Groups. Partner Members may participate by invitation only.

5. How long does it take to complete the membership process?

The membership process is very simple. You first need to apply by contacting the Chairman (use Contact Us or the click contact in the Board and Officers section), explaining briefly what your company does and why it wants to join. You will then be asked to sign and return the Membership Agreement (available for download), and then you will get the invoice for the membership dues if applicable. Upon payment you’re a Member and your team can join the Work Groups.

Q&A

1. What are the short and medium terms goals of the forum and how will these be achieved?

At i3forum we bring the International carrier ecosystem together to enable and accelerate transformation through collaboration. Our members decide the challenges and topics to address and through our open and inclusive approach, we provide a platform for members to explore, share and debate the challenges facing carrier business. The i3forum, as a non-profit organisation, then creates and supports actionable, “by the carriers for the carriers” solutions for the benefit of the industry – be it recommendations, guidelines, platforms or services.

Members are empowered by a shared purpose and mission to shape the future of our industry. Active participation from carriers and vendors who have a vision for the industry and are looking for collaboration with their peers is key. Consequently, growing the membership is a powerful engine to keep increasing our relevance and impact to the industry, for the benefit of all. We have been achieving this goal consistently over the last few months, demonstrated by BT and Colt being our sixth and seventh new members in around six months to form a total of 27 members to date. We are determined to keep this momentum going for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Our key initiatives at this time include the fight against fraud – both in international voice and A2P messaging – through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct, best practices and operational cooperation. We also collaborate on industry wide solutions to major challenges such as limiting “CLI spoofing” so that the calling number remains untampered with, or sharing a central reference for the Numbering Plan so that carriers always have the same understanding of how to route calls and messages.

We are also building on the impressive initial success of our not-for-profit Insights solution, which allows participating carriers to track KPIs for international voice services by aggregating and anonymising monthly data. From its initial trial, development and official launch earlier on this year, the platform has really grown into one of the most useful data sources for the industry. Contributors to the database include BICS, BTS, iBasis, Orange, PCCW Global, Tata Communications, Sparkle, Telefónica International Wholesale Services, and Telstra.

2. What are the most pressing concerns today for the carrier services industry?

One of the most pressing concerns for the carrier services industry today is fraud. Fraud across the carrier ecosystem can cost carriers a significant amount of money and really impact their bottom line. Across our industry, there is growing recognition that combating fraud requires a coordinated, collaborative and industrywide effort. No single carrier will solve its fraud challenges alone. It takes the support of the entire carrier community, which is what i3forum’s Fight Against Fraud workgroup is for. For all our members including BT and Colt, they can join the Fight Against Fraud workgroup to tackle all kinds of fraud across the industry. On top of this, there’s an opportunity to join our other work groups to tackle other industry challenges.

More broadly, in this very competitive industry, carriers are more and more looking for ways to collaborate in order to improve their business. Given the highly interconnected nature of our activities, collaboration involves pooling resources, sharing expertise, and working with like-minded peers to establish operational standards and shared solutions that benefit everyone, improve overall efficiency and help bring about change.

3. What do you feel are among the most exciting new developments you are witnessing? E.g. new technologies

In today’s market, we’re seeing so many new developments and technologies that are really exciting and have the potential to shape the future of our industry. There’s a growing number of collaborative efforts across the industry which is great to see, and we’re proud to be playing a big part in this at i3forum.

Blockchain is certainly a topic with enormous potential and multiple use cases, and we are closely monitoring the various initiatives led by some carriers, and plan to contribute when the time is right for industry alignment.

4. How can the forum help the individual players build a sustainable business?

Individual players that join i3forum such as BT, have access to work groups that include Fight Against Fraud, Technology, Numbering Plan Initiative, Market Database Initiative and Blockchain Initiative. This helps them to build a sustainable business by working together with other work group members to build solutions for key challenges, and to gain new perspectives on how to optimise their business.

On top of this, they can join i3forum Insights to benefit from new intelligence, visibility, data and insights to power informed decisions and better serve their customers’ needs.

More broadly, i3forum members can learn from each other, discuss and implement collective approaches that improve their businesses, create new initiatives and influence their peers in order to bring about industry-wide transformation that supports the execution of their strategy.

In this industry, collaboration is key to progress.