At ITW last week in Chicago, there was a real buzz around the topic of wholesale. Wholesale is often overlooked in comparison to other, trendier topics, but there’s no doubt it’s a fundamental part of the industry. Operators and service providers need to collect and receive traffic from different destinations and, to do so, they need relationships with carriers who can transit minutes around the world.
There’s a lot of arbitrage and negotiation, of course, and the industry tends to be overlooked, particularly as price sensitivity can reduce margins. However, at ITW, we saw a tremendous degree of activity, confirming that wholesale is actually in good shape with not just an active pulse, but something of an upsurge.
Wholesale prices can go up, bucking the downward trend!
The reason for this is that, in some countries, regulatory pressure has actually increased prices, bucking the trend of downward pressure. This creates opportunities and many deals were struck. Alongside this positive surge, we were also taken with the countless conversations we had in which the importance of SS7 to future operations became clear.
SS7 interconnect remains essential as a stable interconnection solution and to increase ROI
While many regard SS7 as the legacy, in reality, most carriers we spoke to are committed to maintaining their SS7 interconnects and also extending their base to support connectivity with more providers. Why?
Well, the answer is clear. It’s all about stability and return on investment. First, most national operators are maintaining SS7 as an interconnection protocol for the simple reason that it works. It’s stable, reliable and well understood. Second, the deployed base has already been paid for – so naturally, national operators and carriers want to leverage existing assets in order to boost profitability.
While SIP is an option for some, there are still uncertainties regarding investment in SIP as a national interconnection solution: for many SS7 remains the preferred choice. This means that carriers need to maintain and extend SS7 interconnection points with national operators while at the same time delivering traffic internationally across VoIP routes – so they need reliable platforms with proven SS7 capabilities but which can also deliver traffic across VoIP interconnection points.
Carriers need cost effective, proven SS7 solutions, delivered through innovative software-only solutions with dramatic cost savings over legacy platforms
But they also need to conserve costs and ease deployment. That’s why they need software-based solutions that enable both SS7 and SIP interconnection, with a host of national approvals and a simple, cost-effective deployment model.