Quo vadis interconnection?

The arrival of mobile telephony in Spain was a breakthrough not only as a social and economic engine, but also as the first step for the liberalization of the telecommunications market in the country. In 1976, the CTNE (National Telephone Company of Spain) launched a communication system involving heavy and inconvenient devices installed in vehicles.

But it was not until 1982, and in conjunction with FIFA World Cup Final that the CTNE successfully launched a new cellular communication system based on AT&T’s development, namely “The cellular concept”. This communication system divided the coverage areas into cells (hence the name cellular). The system included “small, and handy” handsets that could be carried as small suitcases. Then and for the first time the concept of interconnection was introduced, because somehow there was the need to make the wireless network accessible from the fixed one and vice versa.

Therefore in this same year a consortium of 13 major European Operators including Spain the so called “Global System for Mobile communications” or GSM, was established. Nowadays, the GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations.

“Currently, interconnection is not focused solely among mobile networks, but in everything providing a service to the end customer. The 4th Generation Interconnect is tied to access to services like WhatsApp or online shopping,” GSMA Roaming Technical Director Javier Sendin says.

That’s the reason for Interconnect Working groups (IWG) meetings. Next meeting will be held on 20 and 21 November in Lleida. The Interconnect Working Group has overall responsibility for interconnection matters worldwide and its aim is to improve interconnect and interworking relationships between mobile operators hubbing providers and many other stakeholders in the mobile communications industry.

This will be the third occasion that this working group takes place in Spain. The first one was in June 2008 in Madrid. This is the second and hopefully not the last time, Lleida is hosting the IWG, having previously welcomed the Interconnect Working group in November 2011. We hope all attendees will enjoy the city as well as make the most of the event.

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