BICS, a global leader in wholesale carrier services, today announced a 70% increase in the number of countries adopting LTE roaming in the last year, with availability now in 126 countries worldwide. Through the BICS IPX (IP exchange) platform, its operator customers can now offer their subscribers high quality data roaming with over 325 operators around the world.
During 2015, LTE roaming has been launched in countries such as the USA, Italy, Morocco, Iceland and the Seychelles. Carriers launching these next generation services enable their customers, and inbound visitors roaming onto their networks, access to the highest quality data services through either direct connections or peering agreements.
The growth of LTE roaming has been astounding with double-digit growth seen each month during 2015. The holiday seasons in particular saw a rapid month-on-month rise in data roaming traffic as operators transitioned to next generation services and customers increased their data usage abroad.
Enabling LTE roaming requires a whole new set of commercial agreements and technical interconnections to support this all-new IP signalling infrastructure, built on IPX, to replace the SS7 signalling network.
BICS’ market leading IPX platform, including LTE signalling, allows service providers to exchange IP traffic bilaterally with any IPX destination. Through one single interconnection with end-to-end quality management, BICS’ IPX platform is able to minimise operators’ efforts and costs. This also removes the need to engage in separate agreements with multiple operators around the world and allows for the swift deployment of LTE roaming services.
BICS’ IPX network also supports VoLTE interworking, which was successfully demonstrated during 2015 when BICS successfully tested the world’s first end-to-end international VoLTE call taking place between carriers in Asia and Europe.
“2015 was a pivotal year for data roaming with operators around the world continuing to adopt and promote 4G,” said Mikaël Schachne, VP Mobile Data Business, BICS. “End users have enthusiastically embraced data roaming services in the last twelve months, driven by price reductions and the availability of higher-bandwidth services, through LTE.“
He added: “In the upcoming year, BICS anticipates international LTE usage will continue to expand as a greater number of operators roll-out 4G services across the world, with a heavy focus on growth in the African and Middle East markets.”