Discussion Papers

Dieter Elixmann, J. Scott Marcus, Thomas Plückebaum

IP interconnection relating to NGN based voie services and the migration towards All-IP: An international comparison

No. 392 / November 2014

(Full version only available in German)


In many countries of the world one can already observe substantial activities focusing on interconnecting NGN based networks providing voice services on the basis of IP (IP-interconnection, IP-IC). The primary objective of the present study is a thorough analysis of such developments. The study is organised as an international comparison comprising the following countries: Denmark (DK), Italy (IT), Canada (CA), New Zealand (NZ), Norway (NO) and the USA (US). After an overview of the technological foundations of IP-IC we are adressing the six case studies each focusing on a consistent set of thematical issues: (1) current extent and significance of VoIP in end user markets;

(2) IP-IC related activities to date both on the regulatory side and on the incumbent side (where the focus is among others on technical specifications, prices and on principles and instruments for shaping the migration process from TDM- to IP-IC); (3) discussions and definitions so far as to the complete phasing out of the PSTN. Not surprisingly, there are more or less significant differences among the countries observed. Important results of our study are:

  • Regulatory obligations regarding IP-IC are already stipulated in DK and IT whereas in NO there are no such obligatory requirements. In CA and in NZ the regulatory focus is on the specification of a suitable framework while the main focus is on concrete negotiations among the market participants. In the USA the (regulatory and market) discussion regarding IP-IC is intrinsically tied to the topic of phasing out the PSTN.
  • In CA and IT concrete specifications regarding the maximum time for negotiations and implementations, respectively, of IP-IC agreements have been formulated.
  • As to requirements for TDM-IP conversion, none of the countries analysed has a rule analogous to the „technology conformant routing" implemented in Germany.
  • The specified number of IP-IC points of interconnection (PoIs) is (not surprisingly) much lower than in the traditional TDM world. In DK, for instance, it is 6, in IT, 32, and in NO it will probably be at most 2.
  • Concrete specifications of regulated IC prices are only observable in DK, IT and NO. In IT and in NO there are explicitly defined glide paths for the migration from TDM to IP-IC.
  • Network operators in DK, NO and in the USA have already published concrete plans and targets regarding their complete migration towards All-IP. Also in IT, CA and in NZ a migration of networks towards NGN and IP takes place in the market, however, up until now there is no prominent public discussion of this issue.

Discussion Paper is available for download.

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