A. Lutu, B. Jun, F. Bustamante, D. Perino, M. Braun, C. Bontje
The IPX Network interconnects about 800 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) worldwide and a range of other service providers (such as cloud and content providers). It forms the core that enables global data roaming while supporting emerging applications, from VoLTE and video streaming to IoT verticals. This paper presents the first characterization of this, so-far opaque, IPX ecosystem and a first-of-its-kind in-depth analysis of an IPX Provider (IPX-P). The IPX Network is a private network formed by a small set of tightly interconnected IPX-Ps. We analyze an operational dataset from a large IPX-P that includes BGP data as well as statistics from signaling. We shed light on the structure of the IPX Network as well as on the temporal, structural and geographic features of the IPX traffic. Our results are a first step in understanding the IPX Network at its core, key to fully understand the global mobile Internet.