BICS and AWS launch cloud-based roaming

  • January 31, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson
  • BICS

BICS is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch a cloud-based roaming service.

The service should enhance the mobile roaming experience by providing faster, more reliable internet access, whether at home or while traveling abroad.

This cloud-based roaming service is available to mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and targets enterprise and consumer markets that require consistent, low-latency internet access both in their home countries and abroad. This allows consumers to enjoy uninterrupted access to their favourite apps, streaming media, gaming and other bandwidth-intensive services via mobile networks without frustrating lag or buffering.

By migrating its roaming connectivity platform to AWS’s global infrastructure, BICS can deliver roaming internet up to five times faster than traditional international mobile roaming services. The service is enabled by AWS Transit Gateway, AWS Direct Connect and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and leverages AWS’s global footprint, including regions and local zones. It also enables connectivity use cases such as gaming, virtual reality or IoT connected devices that require low latency performance, opening opportunities for the mobile industry.

BICS is already working with SK Telecom (SKT) and Proximus, who have successfully tested and implemented cloud roaming. SKT reached a breakthrough latency of 90ms in a 5G connection between a mobile device in Spain and SKT’s mobile network in South Korea. BICS and SKT have since developed a roaming edge cloud (REC) that improves roaming service quality and speed, with up to 83% reduction in response time, compared with current roaming services.

“We are proud to work with BICS to innovate on improving the subscriber experience,” said Sameer Vuyyuru, head of worldwide telecommunications business development at AWS (aws.amazon.com). “BICS’s shift from a legacy network approach to a digital cloud-native approach for roaming is ground breaking and helps to achieve global network presence on demand while ensuring reliability, flexibility and cost optimisation. We look forward to working with BICS to serve the roaming customers of any telco worldwide.”

Jorn Vercamert, vice president at BICS, added: “Low latency combined with truly global and interactive communications has the power to unlock massive potential for connected cars, drones, AR headsets and many more next-generation use cases, and BICS is delighted to be at the core of driving this forward with AWS. Travelers and devices alike will benefit from AWS-based cloud roaming, no longer facing latency delays when using mobile internet. BICS’s roaming services facilitate improved roaming across all geographical locations, by enabling content to be accessed within a specific region. With the added agility and flexibility of AWS, we can avoid the burden of heavy upfront capex investments, innovate more and launch new offerings faster, while at the same time bringing simplicity to our customers and application content quicker to end-users.”

Initially available to a limited number of MNOs and MVNOs, it will be deployed globally using BICS’s self-developed packet data network (PDN) gateway-based internet termination edge sites. 

BICS (www.bics.com) is headquartered in Brussels, with a presence in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.