By Andy Sambidge
British Telecom signs agreement with VIVA Bahrain for first Middle East hub to boost roaming capabilities
British Telecom (BT) has signed an agreement with mobile phone operator VIVA Bahrain to build a Global IP Exchange (GIPX) hub in Bahrain.
The hub is targeted to be launched in the first quarter of 2015, BT said in a statement, adding that VIVA Bahrain will deliver hosting and connectivity while providing anew route to market for BT's Global IP Exchange Voice and interoperability services in the region.
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.
The UK-based operator said it unlocks significant pull-through business for mobile roaming, Wi-fi roaming and other future IP Exchange propositions.
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.
Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, CEO of VIVA Bahrain, said: "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
Beatriz Butsana-Sita, managing director, BT Global Telecom Markets, added: "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."