Press Release

Today PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration solutions announced the launch of its mobile collaboration exchange, the first-of-its-kind, leveraging its global conferencing and collaboration network to enable mobile operators to deliver a High Definition (HD) audio and video conferencing experience to their customers, using existing investments in their LTE and VoLTE network infrastructure.

Not unlike an IPX, which is an efficient hub network that interconnects mobile operators to one another, PGi’s mobile collaboration exchange is also a global hub, but for mobile HD communication, driving a preference for mobile first collaboration. The exchange enables mobile operators globally, either directly or through an IPX, to interconnect customers in conference calls and collaborations, across operator networks, while preserving HD voice quality with QoS connections.

“With 36 percent of PGi’s audio and web conferences currently being accessed via mobile devices, the mobile collaboration exchange comes at a pivotal time when enterprises are beginning to recognise this shift towards a mobile first preference for conference calls,” said Pat Harper, CTO, PGi. “PGi is excited to take our HD collaboration experience and extend our mobile collaboration exchange to network operators and their customers around the world.”

PGi has seen mobile participation in its hosted conferences go from less than five percent in 2005 to more than 26 percent in 2016. This uptick reflects the convenience and growing preference for business collaborators to use their mobile phones. And, with the increased quality of HD, PGi projects mobile participation to exceed 66 percent by 2020.

High definition audio provides a dramatic increase in clarity and effectiveness in conference calls due to both a wider frequency range as well as a higher signal to noise ratio. This leads to decreased background noise, less clipping of double talkers, more intelligibility of others with different accents or soft-spoken voices and less fatigue from straining to hear on lower quality calls.

Built to maximise a mobile operator’s investment in VoLTE, PGi’s platform for its mobile collaboration exchange can connect any device on any VoLTE or SIP network into an HD audio bridge. Currently mobile HD audio is only experienced on a point-to-point call, but now, by interconnecting to PGi’s platform for its mobile collaboration exchange, HD audio conferencing can be experienced by any VoLTE customer on any network, in any country.

The architecture of the mobile collaboration exchange is a combination of PGi’s Virtual IMS and Network-Network Interface (NNI) integrated seamlessly with the mobile operators’ IMS, maximising their investment in LTE. For operators that connect to PGi’s mobile collaboration exchange, customers will experience HD conference calls, even before carriers do a direct NNI with each other.

Figure 1. The Network Architecture for the mobile collaboration exchange

Harper added, “Our vision is to expand and continue to add capabilities and value-added services, leveraging strengths by growing our mobile collaboration exchange operator connections. The more mobile network operators and customers that become interconnected, the more HD audio and video is utilised, the better the experience for all end-users in collaborations.”

In addition to being the category creator for mobile collaboration, PGi envisions a multi-phase evolution of mobile collaboration networks.

Figure 2. The Four Phase Evolution of Mobile Collaboration Networks

These phases can be summarised as follows:

• Phase 1 – mobile collaboration exchange. Creates a mobile first preference for collaboration and allows mobile operators to directly connect over NNI enabling their customers to utilise HD voice and video leveraging their LTE networks.
• Phase 2 – mobile first C&C Consumer Offer. Allows mobile operators to create and make their own consumer offerings of mobile first conferencing and collaboration, with multi-way HD voice, as well as HD video, group chat and screen sharing.
• Phase 3 – NFV & SDN Elastic Expansion. Allows for rapid scale of capacity, while lowering operational costs. Leveraging the “cloudification” network transformation already underway, SDN can then be used to dynamically expand the global MPLS network, as demand requires.
• Phase 4 – “Collaborational” AI & AR. Adds optional speech recognition and natural language processing, for both meeting note transcriptions, as well as keyword extraction with artificial intelligence, allowing a streaming search augmented reality overlay of key concepts in the collaboration.

To learn more about PGi’s mobile collaboration exchange, attend our ‘Power Hour’ speaker session at Mobile World Congress.