One of the most inspiring conferences of the industry came back to talk about the evolution of roaming. Comfone’s ConneXion took place in Bern again and together with our friends at Hutchinson – CKH Innovations Opportunities Development, we were proud to talk about Network Automation & The future of IR.21.

Network configuration based on IR.21 updates & service openings

RAEX IR.21 is a well-established format for MNOs to inform their roaming partners about changes that these need to implement in their network. But is the format itself reliable enough to cover all affected network components like different firewalls, VLR, HLR, border gateways, billing system, monitoring system, etc.?

To keep it short, the answer is yes. But with new technologies coming into place and new data to be implemented in the network, the RAEX IR.21 schema and tools need to be updated regularly and many MNOs should be more accurate with their data before publishing their files

What our customers think about IR.21

We recently ran a short survey among RoamsysNext customers and users that also covered the IR.21 topic. The results clearly indicate that the standard as well as the related process is well established and fit for purpose. But it also showed, that there’s room for improvement when it comes to transparency and the frequency of updates. The data quality isn’t a problem just related to the standard, but lies in the hands of each operator or MVNO publishing a document. Users complained about missing or dummy data and would like to get better feedback upon the implementation of data. As the technologies are evolving fast, the IR.21 needs to evolve on a faster pace with adding the data fields required to make the RAEX IR.21 future-proof and ready for automation. And automation is already on its way, as most MNOs are doing their configurations at least semi-automated. The standard must be ready for this and the good news is, that the upcoming release will cover the necessary aspects.

Key Numbers

  • 80% of the respondents agreed that the current format as well as the process is fit for purpose

  • 36% would like to see the standard evolving on a faster rate

  • Users complained about missing or dummy data and would like to get better feedback upon the implementation of data

  • The frequency of updates should be enhanced

  • Nearly 90% of the users agreed, that RAEX IR.21 is a fundamental basis for automation

  • 60% of the users stated that they are doing their configurations at least semi-automated

  • Nearly 50% plan to increase automation in the next twelve months