Insights from operating an IP exchange provider

Andra Lutu, Diego Perino, Marcelo Bagnulo, Fabián E. Bustamante

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

IP Exchange Providers (IPX-Ps) offer to their customers (e.g., mobile or IoT service providers) global data roaming and support for a variety of emerging services. They peer to other IPX-Ps and form the IPX network, which interconnects 800 MNOs worldwide offering their customers access to mobile services in any other country. Despite the importance of IPX-Ps, little is known about their operations and performance. In this paper, we shed light on these opaque providers by analyzing a large IPX-P with more than 100 PoPs in 40+ countries, with a particularly strong presence in America and Europe. Specifically, we characterize the traffic and performance of the main infrastructures of the IPX-P (i.e., 2-3-4G signaling and GTP tunneling), and provide implications for its operation, as well as for the IPX-P's customers. Our analysis is based on statistics we collected during two time periods (i.e., prior and during COVID-19 pandemic) and includes insights on the main service the platform supports (i.e., IoT and data roaming), traffic breakdown and geographical/temporal distribution, communication performance (e.g., tunnel setup time, RTTs). Our results constitute a step towards advancing the understanding of IPX-Ps at their core, and provide guidelines for their operations and customer satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCOMM 2021 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages718-730
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383837
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021
Event2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Aug 23 2021Aug 27 2021

Publication series

NameSIGCOMM 2021 - Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference

Conference

Conference2021 Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication on the Applications, SIGCOMM 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/23/218/27/21

Keywords

  • IPX provider
  • international mobile roaming
  • measurements
  • mobile networks
  • performance analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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