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Amsterdam internet hub gets ready for 4G mobile VoIP

AMS-IX now offering guaranteed IP links

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The Amsterdam Internet Exchange will soon offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across its infrastructure - providing the guaranteed bandwidth needed if IP is going to conquer the world.

AMS-IX, as the public peering hub is known, already provides public peering between internet companies, but from 1 July the hub will be able to link companies together with guaranteed SLAs rather than the best-effort offerings available today. That’s increasingly important as companies move critical infrastructure - such as fourth-generation mobile telephony - onto IP networks.

Mobile network operators already have IP connections with each other, but aren’t yet big producers of IP content - smartphones might consume data but they don’t produce much of it yet. That will change with 4G networks, which use IP packets for everything, including voice calls; so mobile operators are going to start generating huge quantities of IP data to be consumed by other mobile, and fixed, operators.

Also launched on Wednesday was AMS-IX Inter-IPX (IP Packet Exchange) service, a connection aimed specifically at mobile network operators conforming to quality-of-service standards laid down by the GSMA.

Customer packets won't start transiting the new network until next month, but operators such as Turk Telekom and Japan’s SoftBank came out at the launch to say how they'll be using the new exchange - boosting Istanbul as an international hub, and providing a short cut to Japan (avoiding the USA) for SoftBank.

Companies reliant on quality of their data connections have hitherto relied on their own infrastructure: maintaining separate peering arrangements (and infrastructure) with their partners. Many will feel the need to continue doing so, at least until the Amsterdam operation has had a chance to prove its resilience and capacity.

But 4G mobile operators are going to be generating IP data in unprecedented quantities and with high quality of service requirements, so the Amsterdam Exchange is hoping to be ready to handle that traffic when it arrives. ®

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