AMS-IX: GRX Recipe for Peering

The world's first full-service, scalable GRX Peering Exchange for the interconnection of mobile networks was created at AMS-IX in 2001. Originally set up to exchange GPRS/3G data, this AMS-IX GRX has since become the major mobile peering point for the exchange of mobile roaming data (3G/4G/5G). Currently 25 GRX providers exchange traffic with each other on behalf of their customers, MNOs, at one or more of the twelve AMS-IX peering locations in Amsterdam. The AMS-IX GRX facilitates global data roaming for mobile end user customers and is therefore a core component in enabling a truly global mobile Internet.

The below explains how a GRX provider can connect to the AMS-IX GRX peering exchange.

Requirements before applying
  1. The GRX provider has to become a customer/member of AMS-IX in order to become a member of the GRX VLAN.
  2. The requirements on joining AMS-IX can be found on the connect to AMS-IX page.
Application process

The application process consists of the following steps:

  1. Apply for an AMS-IX connection and a port on the GRX VLAN. For prices check the following pricing page
  2. Arrange a colocation for your router and local cabling
  3. Implement the connection
  4. Implement bilateral peering agreements

The above steps are further detailed below.

Relations and communication

The following diagram outlines the parties involved and their relations.

Grx Setup

Two mailing lists have been set up to discuss:

  • progress in setting up the peering exchange
  • documents and guidelines relating to the peering exchange
  • operational & technical issues relating to the peering exchange
Applying for a port at AMS-IX

The AMS-IX port application process has the following steps:

  1. First the GRX provider decides on the specifications for the port. Also the GRX provider must decide on the speed of the connection and the co-location from where to connect. 
  2. The GRX provider is free to choose for any of the sites where AMS-IX is present.
  3. The application process is described on the page connect to AMS-IX.
  4. The GRX provider submits the AMS-IX Application Form and specifies the GRX VLAN in section 4 of the application form. 
  5. AMS-IX sends a Connection Agreement between AMS-IX and GRX provider.
  6. The GRX provider signs the Connection Agreement and sends it back.
  7. AMS-IX will issue the GRX provider with the port details (exact location and IP address).
  8. AMS-IX will add the GRX providers contacts to the mailing lists.
  9. GRX provider is ready to connect.
Arranging the housing and cabling

In case the GRX provider needs (more) rack space to house the GRX equipment, the GRX provider must arrange this with the housing provider of the chosen AMS-IX site. Once the equipment has been installed the GRX provider orders the housing provider to install the correct cabling (typically a fiber cross connect) from its equipment to the AMS-IX VLAN port.

Connectivity from the GRX provider's GRX network to its equipment at the colocation must be arranged by the GRX provider if needed. Information can be obtained from the colocation regarding carriers already offering connectivity services into the colocation.

Implementing the connection

The following steps must be taken:

  1. The GRX provider installs his equipment at the colocation
  2. The housing provider installs the cabling as ordered by the GRX provider
  3. The GRX provider configures his router with the correct configuration (including IP address)
  4. The GRX provider is now ready to start establishing bilateral peering agreements with other GRX providers. A list with contacts is available on our GRX members website
Implementing bilateral peering agreements

In order to actually exchange traffic a bilateral peering agreement between two GRX providers must be agreed upon and implemented. Such a peering agreement covers at least the exchange of routing information via BGP and the exchange of AS and IP address plans.

Once the peering agreement has been established, the GRX providers are ready to implement roaming traffic exchange between two PLMNs that are connected to both GRX providers respectively.