Non-profit group i3forum, an association focused on helping international wholesale carriers transform themselves and their industry, added its first Middle Eastern member earlier this month when Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) joined its ranks, interested primarily in the group's anti-fraud initiative.
The 12-year-old organization now totals 23 members, i3forum Founder and Chairman and Orange executive Philippe Millet said, in an interview with Broadband World News. That number, down from a high of 50 when participation was free, is the highest it's been since i3forum began charging a membership fee several years ago, he said. And that is due to the number of challenges wholesalers face when it comes to their own digital transformations, safety from fraud and forging partnerships, Millet said.
"We are all competing with each other, but at the same time we are all partners and customers of each other," he said. "This is really driving collaboration."
As wholesalers expand broadband via land, submarine and satellite systems, not only does their ability to deepen their services and customer base grow, but so too do the targets they present to potential attackers and others hoping to exploit wholesalers' systems for their own gains, Millet said. In some cases, attackers target wholesalers' networks; in others, they take over end-customers -- whether that's customer-facing carriers or consumers and businesses themselves.
The global telecommunications industry loses between $17 billion and $29 billion annually, according to a recently published report by ThreatMatrix.
Some of this fraud enters via common back-end infrastructures wholesalers use to communicate with each other, Millet said. By working together and using modern approaches such as virtualization, open source and blockchain, i3forum members can combine resources to create a platform that's more efficient and effective at preventing fraud, he said.
"This is not really digital transformation, but it is something that is impacting everybody and the pain is getting more and more real. It gets more understandable to work together. There are gaps and holes in [the system]. That creates disputes, opportunities for fraudsters that are much better than us at exploiting this," said Millet. "We thought by putting our resources and expertise toward this we could create a platform. If you go back to what we do really, it's about interconnecting operators and ensuring interoperability and ensuring interoperability of services. That's what it's all about and it's not going to go away."
The i3forum is creating a service through the collaboration of many members that it plans to announce in June. The platform, which an as-yet-unnamed vendor will operate, will allow operators to benchmark themselves in "an anonymous, safe and confidential way," against the rest of the industry, he said. Although a few commercial offerings exist today, i3forum's will be more complete, given its wholesaler-design, as well as less expensive and free of "commercial aspects," Millet said.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Today’s access network architecture is under mounting pressure due to a continued surge in the number of connected devices, a proliferation of bandwidth-intensive customer applications and dramatic shifts in usage patterns related to the pandemic, such as work-from-home and e-learning.
Learn why now is the right time for cable operators to build greenfield networks or expand their existing networks with 10G PON, arming customers with high-speed symmetrical broadband. Gain a clear understanding of the drivers impacting the access network and the various approaches being considered to deliver higher speed services. Plus, find out the best practices that operators are employing as they leverage the latest in passive optical technology to future-proof their networks.
Topics to be covered include:
Node + 0 (Fiber Deep)
DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX/ESD)
FTTP and 10G PON
Provisioning 10G PON within a DOCSIS B/OSS environment