BT joins forces with Viva to build interoperability hub in Bahrain
Communication hub: Viva Bahrain and BT announce a global partnership (File/AFP)
BT, one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, has signed an agreement with Viva Bahrain, a leading mobile operator in Bahrain and a subsidiary of Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC), to build a Global IP Exchange (GIPX) interoperability hub in Bahrain.
The hub is targeted to be launched in the first quarter of 2015. Viva Bahrain will deliver hosting and connectivity whilst providing a new route to market for BT's Global IP Exchange Voice and interoperability services in the region, said a statement.
BT IP Exchange is an interoperability service that enables fixed, mobile, legacy and next-generation networks to interconnect in a way that minimises the cost and technical burden of protocol conversion. Specially developed to meet the growing need for connectivity between voice-over-IP operators, traditional communications providers, and converged service providers, BT IP Exchange provides essential interworking between the various communications technologies currently used by businesses and consumers around the world, it said.
The partnership with Viva Bahrain will enable BT to extend its Global IP Exchange footprint to a fourth region, following the launches of BT interoperability hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. "It unlocks significant pull-through business for mobile roaming, Wi-Fi roaming and other future IP Exchange propositions. It will ensure convenient, simplified and seamless access that allows telecom operators to provide their end customers with fully interoperable services and innovative products," the statement said.
Shaikh Fawaz Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of State for Communications in Bahrain, said: “This milestone strategically positions Bahrain at the forefront to shape the telecommunications landscape globally. Having this interoperability hub in Bahrain will complement the global footprint of IP connectivity and will connect the Gulf and Middle East operators to the best-in-class global IP backbone”.
Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, CEO of Viva Bahrain, stated: “Interoperability is key to the success of future communication services and IP Exchange is a core element to bring it to life for our fast growing region. Investing in this technology together with BT underlines our strong commitment to develop our wholesale infrastructure for the benefit of the regional telecom industry. This hub will provide regional operators with service innovation and choice for their IP interoperability requirements further enhancing their competitiveness to service their local markets”
Wael El-Kabbany, managing director, Middle East and North Africa, BT Global Services, said: “We are delighted to have signed this contract with Viva Bahrain for a Global IP Exchange interoperability hub in Bahrain. It is the first such hub that BT deploys in the Middle East and demonstrates our continuous commitment in the region. It is also a new building block in the execution of our strategy aiming at rolling out a fully federated Global IP Exchange infrastructure across the world.”
BT already connects more than 400 IP Exchange customers globally with fast-paced growing traffic demand. BT’s and Viva Bahrain’s efforts will provide end-users in the Middle-East and beyond with more choice, better service and higher quality communication services, the statement added.
Customers will benefit from innovation in IP voice (such as High Definition Voice quality), one-stop roaming solutions combining 2G/3G, LTE and Wi-fi roaming, as well as modern data services, it said.
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