Global Crossing has announced the launch of Wireless Services Exchange, an extranet solution that provides mobile network operators with a cost-effective mechanism for the international delivery of multiple services over a single direct interconnect from a neutral provider with global reach.
Wireless Services Exchange ensures the consistent, high- quality delivery of MNOs' current voice and video applications, as well as supporting the imminent convergence with IP data services, with guaranteed feature performance such as caller line identity.
"As the wireless market continues to grow, we're committed to delivering the high-quality IP services that mobile network operators need to meet rising demand for new converged mobile communications services," said John Legere, Global Crossing's CEO.
Wireless Services Exchange will be launched in multiple phases, with an initial introduction in the first half of 2005 delivering international mobile-to-mobile routing with caller line identity (CLI) and point-to-point video with differentiated billing. The second release, to be launched later in 2005, will include global roaming exchange services (GRX), short messaging services (SMS) and multimedia messaging services (MMS).
Anthony Christie, Global Crossing's chief marketing officer, said: "Our superior global IP network and high-quality service put Global Crossing in a strong position to collaborate with mobile operators who seek to broaden their range of international services. These operators will appreciate the fact that we are a neutral network provider, free of any financial or ownership affiliations with MNOs. The growth of 3G services is driving MNOs toward convergence, and our international IP footprint matches this need perfectly."
"Global Crossing Wireless Services Exchange enables consistent delivery of feature-rich services by connecting disparate mobile networks," stated Keith Mallinson, EVP for Wireless and Mobile Research at The Yankee Group. "Global Crossing's leadership in converged IP services makes it an ideal partner for mobile operators looking to migrate to an all-IP world."
Global Crossing is positioning Wireless Services Exchange to meet the mobile industry's requirement for superior quality, innovative messaging services and value-added IP services. In targeting international business for growth, an operator's primary need is to ensure that customers using their services abroad receive levels of service that are on par with the "at home" experience.
MNOs see the expansion of international services as a means of overcoming the multiple challenges of increased competition from new 3G offerings, the rise of the mobile virtual network operator, pressures from national regulatory authorities and flattening revenues from domestic voice and text messaging.
Providing high-quality CLI transmission and processing is critical for MNOs and an important service differentiator for Global Crossing. Transmitting CLI drives end users to both answer and reply to more wireless calls which, in turn, drives up call minutes and revenue for operators.
Wireless Services Exchange enables the convergence of both voice and video traffic over the same connection, which is unique to Global Crossing and is a key differentiator from other international providers. The service also has the capability to offer differentiated billing for point-to-point video. This means MNOs do not have the cost of providing separate circuits for just video traffic, as Global Crossing's underlying VoIP network supports the required signaling quality and creates identifiable video call records for billing purposes.
As MNOs progress toward converged IP networks, Global Crossing will be ready to deliver voice, video and data service over a single IP interconnection. The data services will be delivered via this converged circuit and the same interconnection as voice prior to the mobile operators' network convergence. These data services will include GRX, inter-carrier messaging, content delivery and video gateways for other services. This single interconnect reduces the total cost of ownership for mobile operators as the use of a single converged circuit minimizes the number of trunk groups required, which reduces the number of facilities to manage and carrier relationships to support.
Global Crossing will target Wireless Services Exchange at the European market and is extending its interconnects in multiple geographic markets across Europe, where its pan-European network links 13 countries and potentially up to 44 mobile operators.
A dedicated Wireless Services Exchange sales team supported by operations, product management, marketing and customer service staff is in place to cover the UK, Ireland, the Nordics, Western Europe, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Malta and Greece.
MNOs will also benefit from Global Crossing's uCommand on-line portal for real-time management and tracking. uCommand provides access to data such as invoices and call detail records (CDR) and allows customers to open and track trouble tickets; submit orders or make inquiries; and to submit requests for service level agreement credits.
Global Crossing's international network delivers IP services to more than 500 major cities in 50 countries and supports a global VoIP infrastructure that currently handles up to 2.5 billion minutes a month. This global IP and VoIP infrastructure is ideally suited to MNOs' current demand for international voice termination, plus the inherent capability to support next-generation IP data and multimedia applications running over 3G networks.