Syniverse adds Verizon roaming pact a week before $2.85bn deal
Syniverse has concluded a significant deal with Verizon, just a week before its shareholders consider a US$2.85 billion reverse takeover bid.
The company says Verizon will implement Syniverse’s Evolved Mobility solution, which allows visitors to the US to use voice over LTE (VoLTE) services.
They can do that even if their home operators have not yet launched VoLTE on their 4G networks, added the company. But they will need VoLTE-enabled phones.
Syniverse’s president of carrier, John McRae (pictured), said: “Syniverse welcomes the opportunity to help Verizon increase inbound roaming. Our Syniverse Evolved Mobility solution enables Verizon to connect with global mobile operators that do not have the voice-connecting technology.”
He said this will give them “a consistent mobile user experience when travelling in the USA”.
VoLTE is an increasingly important 4G voice technology, making use of LTE mobile’s use of internet protocol signalling. Previous mobile technologies, 2G and 3G, have used circuit-switched connections for voice, and even early 4G networks made users revert automatically to 3G so they could make voice calls: an increasingly unviable process as many operators are retiring their 3G networks.
Indeed, last week Syniverse said it is collaborating with AT&T on the development of a solution that preserves inbound voice roaming after AT&T phases out its 3G network this month. The pair of announcements means Syniverse has significant roaming deals with two of the top mobile operators in the US.
Syniverse has timed the Verizon announcement just eight days before its shareholders meet to consider a merger agreement with M3-Brigade Acquisition II (MBAC), a special purpose vehicle that is already listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
If shareholders approve the plan, MBAC will be renamed as Syniverse Technologies and will take over its NYSE listing.
Syniverse is led by former Vodafone executive Andrew Davies, who went on to be CFO of Verizon Wireless, when Vodafone was a 45% shareholder. Verizon bought out that stake in 2014, with Davies as CFO, for $130 billion.
The Syniverse/MBAC deal is a couple of orders of magnitude smaller, but it will enable use up to $1.165 billion to reduce its debt and launch new products and services.