Interexchange Carrier


An Interexchange Carrier (IXC) is a telecommunications company that provides long-distance voice and data services between different local exchange carrier (LEC) territories. IXCs connect calls and data transmissions across various regions or states by utilizing their networks and infrastructure. They are responsible for handling communications traffic between multiple LECs, enabling phone and internet services over long distances.


The phonetics of the keyword “Interexchange Carrier” can be represented as:ˌintərɪkˈsʧeɪndʒ ˈkærɪər

Key Takeaways

  1. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs) are telecommunications companies that provide long-distance voice, data and video services, connecting customers across different regions or countries.
  2. IXCs operate by leasing or owning extensive networks of infrastructure, such as fiber-optic cables, microwave links and satellite communication systems, which enable them to facilitate nationwide and international communication.
  3. They are regulated by governmental and industry standards to ensure seamless and competitive communication services, and often collaborate with local exchange carriers (LECs) to provide end-to-end connections for customers.


Interexchange Carrier (IXC) is a crucial term in telecommunications as it represents a long-distance telecommunication service provider, bridging the gap between geographical regions or Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAs). These carriers facilitate long-distance voice, data, and video services across various regions by owning and operating communication networks.

With their ability to interconnect different LATAs, they pave the way for seamless communication, helping individuals and businesses stay connected, minimize network congestion, and foster continuous growth in the global telecommunication industry.

IXCs thus play a vital role in enhancing communication capabilities and ensuring the effective delivery of services to end-users across the world.


Interexchange Carriers (IXCs) serve a critical purpose in the world of telecommunications, ensuring that long-distance calls are efficiently established, transmitted, and terminated among various local exchange carriers (LECs). Their primary role is to facilitate seamless communication between different regions – particularly between local telephone companies – by providing the necessary infrastructure for routing calls across vast distances. This allows end-users to easily make calls to individuals or businesses located outside of their local calling areas with minimal complications, as the responsibility for routing the calls rests on the IXC.

As such, IXCs deliver convenience and efficiency, both for individuals who rely on long-distance calling to stay connected with friends, family or work, and for businesses involved in various aspects of telecommunication services, such as telemarketing and customer support. Traditionally, IXCs were heavily involved in providing and maintaining the physical telephone lines that link different networks and geographies.

With the advent of newer technologies and increased competition, these carriers have consistently reoriented their strategies and expanded their portfolios to include services such as broadband Internet and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to retain relevance in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape. It’s crucial to note that the existence of IXCs has led to the growth of connection possibilities and greater choice for end-users, as they are no longer bound to a single carrier for all their communication needs.

By providing a competitive, more open market and empowering customers to enjoy cost-effective communication solutions, Interexchange Carriers play an indispensable role in the telecommunications ecosystem.

Examples of Interexchange Carrier

Interexchange Carriers (IXCs) are telecommunication companies that provide long-distance voice and data services across different regions. They enable communication between local exchange carriers (LECs) and allow customers to make long-distance calls or transfer data across various locations. Here are three real-world examples of IXCs:

AT&T: As one of the largest telecommunications providers in the United States, AT&T offers various services, including long-distance (interexchange) voice and data services. AT&T provides these services to both residential and business customers through its long-distance network, allowing them to communicate with customers of other local exchange carriers.

Sprint: Sprint, now part of T-Mobile, was once a standalone telecommunication company recognized as an Interexchange Carrier in the US. It served customers with long-distance calling and broadband services in addition to its wireless plans. Sprint’s vast network allowed it to provide high-quality voice and data services across regions and served as an IXC in the telecom industry.

Lumen Technologies (Formerly CenturyLink): Lumen Technologies is another major player in the telecommunications industry and an Interexchange Carrier. It offers voice and data services such as private line, ethernet, MPLS, and SIP trunking services for long-distance and international communications to businesses and consumers. Lumen Technologies’ expansive network makes it possible to connect various local exchange carriers and provide uninterrupted communication services.

Frequently Asked Questions – Interexchange Carrier

Q1: What is an Interexchange Carrier (IXC)?

An Interexchange Carrier (IXC) is a type of telecommunications provider that offers long-distance services by transmitting voice and data traffic between different Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAs).

Q2: What services do Interexchange Carriers offer?

Interexchange Carriers offer various services including long-distance voice calls, data transmissions, video conferencing, and international calling services. They provide connectivity between local carriers, ensuring seamless communication across large distances.

Q3: How does an Interexchange Carrier work?

Interexchange Carriers work by connecting calls and data transmissions between different LATAs. They use a combination of high-capacity networks, switching facilities, and transmission technology to route calls and data efficiently, taking into account available capacity, call quality, and cost factors.

Q4: Are there different types of Interexchange Carriers?

Yes, there are different types of Interexchange Carriers. Some IXCs specialize in providing service to specific regions or types of customers, while others offer a broad range of services for both residential and commercial users. Major IXCs include AT&T, MCI, Sprint, and Verizon, among others.

Q5: How do I choose the right Interexchange Carrier for my business?

In choosing the right IXC for your business, consider factors such as the provider’s network coverage and reliability, pricing plans, customer service, and the range of features and services offered. Comparing different Interexchange Carriers will help you determine the best fit for your specific communication needs.

Related Technology Terms

  • Long Distance Service Provider
  • Telecommunications Network
  • Switched Circuit Network
  • Local Access and Transport Area (LATA)
  • Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents