BICS provides roaming hub service to MTN

Global carrier BICS has signed an agreement to provide its recently launched roaming hub services to South African mobile operator MTN Group, extending the existing relationship between the two.

BICS said the deal will save MTN the need to forge one-to-one relationships with other mobile operators, allowing it to focus on the delivery of better value and higher quality services for customers.

“Our new roaming hub is a natural evolution of our existing roaming products,” said Frederic Salmon, BICS regional vice president for Africa. “We’ve made all the necessary effort to be ready to offer the next generation of roaming hub products. MTN will be the first user, but it will not be exclusive to them. MNOs now have a choice of three ways to offer roaming services – bilateral agreements, instant roaming where two networks are on one SIM, and hubbing. We’ll now look for peering agreements with other roaming hubs as we work towards full interoperability.”

“Creating an MTN Roaming Hub together with BICS will allow us to provide subscribers with better quality services over a larger global footprint while taking advantage of economies of scale and an improved operational efficiency,” says Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group’s chief operating officer. “The MTN Hub is being established to serve not only our own operations in the over 21 countries we currently operate in, but also our partners around the world.”

In 2009, BICS and MTN combined their international carrier services, with MTN taking an equity stake in BICS. Other shareholders of BICS are parent company Belgacom and Swisscom.

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