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    Is SS7 interconnect unfair?


    Lobbying regulators to get mobile operators to open up their SS7 networks for direct SMS interconnect is unnecessary, according to Maneula Marqes. Marketing manager at TynTec.
    Marques spoke to Mobile Europe after we put to her points raised by Scottish company HSL, which wants to offer direct mobile-to-mobile SMS services to consumers and businesses – despite not being a mobile operator. To do so, the company wants to have direct SS7 interconnect to allow it to use its own SMSCs to handle the traffic. At the moment most SMS aggregators use either a third party operator, typically a smaller, offshore player, to act as their gateway into the SS7 signalling network.
    But HSL, which has one direct interconnect agreement already with Orange in the UK, wants to take that further. Mark Hay, ceo of HSL, said that the company is taking its case to Ofcom after T-Mobile refused to allow the company a similar agreement. He wants Oftel to look at the issue of SMS origination as well as termination, and says operators are obliged under the terms of their licences to consider interconnect deals.
    Concerns about security and network integrity are spurious, Hay said, because the company already interconnects indirectly to the network through a third party, and could do no more harm by connecting directly than it theoretically could already.
    HSL is keen to get the direct connection because by doing so it could cut out the revenue share fees to the third party, as well as be able to offer its own branded and white label services.
    But Marques said that going down the regulatory path was unnecessary. TynTec has four SS7 connections to four of the world’s smaller operators. But Marques says the difference for TynTec is they only need to connections for SMS exchange. The service provider doesn’t need to touch the home network HLRs, or any other network element.
    Other service providers doing something similar include End2End, has a direct interconnect ageement with TDC in Denmark.
    Hay is determined to take this further though, and wants to see Ofcom address the issue at the same time as it undertakes its review this year of SMS termination.