BT to provide wholesale LTE roaming services with Syniverse

BT Global Telecom Markets, the international wholesale arm of BT, has announced the signing of a deal with roaming specialist Syniverse, to provide wholesale LTE roaming capabilities for MNOs.

Speaking to at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam, Damien Staples, general manager at BTGS, explained what the deal entails, and what it means for the telecoms industry in general.

“We’ve signed an agreement with Syniverse for the provisioning of LTE roaming services,” he said. “We will be partnering with them and using their existing roaming capabilities under a white-label for BT, married up with our existing capabilities.”

BT’s been making several heavy investments in roaming for its Global Services division over the past couple of years, Staples said, and the move to facilitate LTE roaming is in line with the company’s overall strategy.

“This [the deal] is about enhancing our traditional roaming capabilities over 2G and 3G roaming services, which we’ve had for many years; investing in LTE, and that means rolling out diameter signalling kit in all of the GSMA peering points, including Amsterdam, Singapore and Ashburn in the US,” he said.

The parameters of the agreement between BT and Syniverse also include wifi roaming, Staples explained, and how MNOs looking to partner with BT will also see their customers benefit from access to BT’s nationwide wifi hotspot network.

“We’ve also been investing in wifi roaming capabilities, so we can now provide access for international operators looking to provide wifi roaming services into the UK,” he said. “We’ll also be providing access for MNOs looking to provide their customers access to our partner networks. It also means they can come to us for wifi roaming services, which includes BT wifi and other operator partners.”

“What operators are looking for is a comprehensive quality of service at a reasonable price, if they can get that from BT, then why not. Obviously if you think about an operator like Vodafone, for instance; they’ve got their own capabilities in this area, but even for them they might look to BT for the end-to-end service. We can serve it as a piecemeal or a holistic solution, but because of this deal with Syniverse we can provide the whole thing.”

With BT’s pending EE acquisition, it remains to be seen how the UK MNO market will respond to a rival operator playing the role of provider as well, but Staples was sure that – regardless of competition – operators will see the value in partnering with BTGS for LTE roaming services.

“In order to ensure we’re providing best-of-breed services across the roaming portfolio, we’ve signed this deal with Syniverse to extend our reach for LTE which will give us a much greater geographic cover for LTE roaming than we had before, and really bringing that area of our LTE roaming portfolio in line with our traditional roaming strengths,” he said.

Below is a picture from the signing of the agreement between BT and Syniverse; with Andrew Dodsworth, VP BT Global Telecom Markets (left), and Derek Gough, VP Marketing for Syniverse (right).

BT Syniverse LTE Roaming

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