After the third IO Plenary last November in Dubai, the IO Community convenes again to review progress and exchange roaming project experiences.
Four Plenaries in and now with 129 Member Operators, IO, and its peers have come to terms with its role in the industry. While more broadly speaking IO’s role is to facilitate knowledge sharing, research, and development, empowering its members to shape the future of telecommunications, presenting an esteemed consortium of roaming industry experts, deeply dedicated to fostering innovation and cultivating robust collaboration, the focus of its work, can be also easily summed up with the word “execution”. IO Members see IO as the place to optimize the delivery of services.
During the 3-day event, MNOs made their way to Scotland from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North America to meet face-to-face in co-located lab sessions, joined by IO members across the world through remote live-streamed participation. The Chairs of all the Labs presented comprehensive reports on their accomplishments, challenges faced by the industry, and their ambitious plans for future developments.
To kick off the plenary, Director General Jason Bryan, made a call to action on the community
“I implore all of us to rise to the occasion. Let us channel our passion, dedication, and hard work toward addressing our challenges head-on. Together, we will navigate the complexities, seize the opportunities, and emerge as leaders in the wholesale roaming industry.”
On day one, the VoLTE Roaming Lab focused on evaluating the success of VoLTE Roaming and presented updates from the Lawful Intercept and Service Testing subgroups, including an update on the work on Emergency Calling by the GSMA. The work on the VoLTE Roaming Playbook kicked off with some workshops in which delegates collaborated to build different sections.
The co-located sessions for day one continued with the African Roaming Alliance meeting focused on end-to-end Roaming Experience and how to elevate the roaming experience from the customer’s perspective. With special focus on the African region, subject matter experts from Orange, Bayobab, Airtel, and customer experience participated in the “Building a Robust E2E Roaming Experience” panel.
An educational piece on eSIM opened on Day 2 to continue with the M2M Roaming Lab session. After the release of the M2M Roaming Playbook before IO Plenary #04, the session focused on identifying new challenges and exploring opportunities in the automotive industry. The Roaming Connectivity Lab reviewed the challenges, opportunities, and risks of Private Networks and Neutral Hosts, a new topic for many operators in the room.
A Scottish themed evening event was sponsored by Nextgen Clearing that second day, which allowed delegates at the Solstice Soirée at The Dome to network in a more relaxed environment after an intense day of knowledge sharing. Delegates got into Scottish dress to make the evening a memorable one.
The third day commenced with updates from the IO Executive Board by Chair Fred Schepens and updates from the IO Advisory Board by Deputy Chair Cameron Dunn. IO also paid recognition to Atim Akeh-Osu from Ooredoo and Jason Olivieri from Verizon for their hard work and contribution as the first African Roaming Alliance Lab and VoLTE Roaming Lab Chairs, and their support in building IO and their ongoing commitment to collaborating with their peers across all labs.
Following the agenda, external presenters Chris Spitler (Llama Networks, previously working for Meta), Mark Giles (Ookla), and Barry Graham (OpenSignal) provided an overview Roaming Experience from the customer’s perspective, an engaging session that will bring future collaborations with the IO community.
The RoamForward (Automation Subcommittee) welcomed Prakash Kumta from Ooredoo as Chair and shared an update on their latest development. ROCCO Genesis Roaming Hackathon winners, Cellusys and III Innovators, were also invited to share their innovative ideas to optimise the testing experience from a technical and operational perspective.
Lastly, the 5G Roaming Lab session started with a review of the latest meetings, followed by a discussion on 5G SA Roaming launching experience. To wrap up the session, delegates separated into subgroups to analyse the challenges, opportunities, and use cases of network slicing for 5G roaming.
Thanks to the continued support of our Gold Sponsor Nextgen Clearing, delegates had plenty of opportunities to network in different atmospheres.
The IO team is incredibly grateful to the whole IO community for their passion and constant support and cooperation. We hope to meet you again at the next IO Plenary #05 to be held in Casablanca in 2023.
IO is a non-profit member organisation developed by Mobile Operators for Mobile Operators. With just a few core staff, the organisation tackles roaming specific challenges through accelerator “Lab” style meetings where MNOs share and collaborate on their key challenges.
Contact us at email@example.com for more information on sponsorship opportunities coming up in 2023.