Data Center POST Interview with Bob Imhoff, Chief Operations Officer of KDDI Global

By Contributing Editor, Kathy Xu

Bob Imhoff is the Chief Operations Officer for KDDI Global, one of the largest providers of wholesale international voice traffic services in the industry. In addition to voice and SMS services, the company provides managed care services, IP transit and peering with a network of more than 50 data centers globally.

Bob has been in the industry for more than 30 years, and Data Center POST recently had the opportunity to sit down with him for an interview about changing network costs, deploying new technologies, and the value of KDDI’s attending International Telecoms Week 2018, taking place May 6-9 in Chicago.

Data Center POST, Kathy Xu (DCP-KX) Question: What network challenges does the industry face as we head to the middle of 2018 and beyond?

KDDI Global, Bob Imhoff (KDDI Global-BI) Answer: One of the challenges is the switch port cost-to-revenue ratio, which has increased significantly due to the declining price per minute of voice services. More demand for secure networks and direct connects has also increased networks costs. Over the next year or so we will see even more use of networks, and the deployment of additional facilities will continue to grow to meet customer demand.

DCP-KX Q: What technologies do you see changing and shaping the industry and how?

KDDI Global-BI A: Switching as a Service (SaaS) has eliminated a large portion of infrastructure cost for many companies, making them more competitive. Many turnkey solutions have also become available, minimizing the necessary commitments of time and money for small businesses and start-up companies.

DCP-KX Q: Are you seeing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning deployed in your business and how?

KDDI Global-BI A: KDDI Global was one of the first companies in the industry to deploy an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning fraud detection system for its international voice traffic. This has become as important as terminating calls around the globe for our customers.

DCP-KX Q: What broad trends do you see in telecoms in the next 12 months?

KDDI Global-BI A: Telecom players will need to better adapt to the OTT players now in the market. All of them are looking for new revenue streams. We will see more integration of voice, data and SMS services in our interactions with our customers, and there will also be more Machine learning and SaaS deployment.

DCP-KX Q: What technologies or solutions are inhibiting growth today and how do you see innovation adapting to solve that problem?

KDDI Global-BI A: On the voice side, machine-to-machine traffic can pose a big issue for us and our customers. Implementing more AI systems will help us detect and remove this traffic from our network, and will also provide valuable information to our customers.

DCP-KX Q: Why is ITW such an important industry event for you and your company?

KDDI Global-BI A: ITW gives us a chance to meet with all of our partners globally, while introducing us to new ones. As one of the largest telecom events, ITW has always been our cornerstone show to help build relationships with partners and potential partners all over the world.

DCP-KX: Thank you for speaking with us today, and best of luck to you at ITW 2018!

Please visit to learn more about KDDI Global. To request a meeting with KDDI Global during ITW, click here.