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Rohan Barot

Bankai Group offers a wide range of offerings for a variety of players in the industry. Rohan Barot, VP of carrier sales for the Americas, gives his take on the wholesale market and how the company is serving the industry's digital needs into the future.

What does Bankai Group see as the main needs, issues and challenges in the wholesale world at present?

Wholesale carriers are facing growing challenges, including changes in their revenue mix, an ongoing shift from voice to data, an increasing focus on mobility, and a dent in revenue due to OTT services.

The wholesale telecoms business consists primarily of four product lines – international voice, roaming, messaging and capacity – with voice the major product line by gross value. However, the business mix has been changing due to the high maturity of voice, along with a shift to application-based communications.

Wholesale voice revenues have been declining, although the Covid pandemic provided surprise relief. The application-to-person messaging market, on the other hand, is growing by 8% every year due to new use cases and has been a key growth driver on the margin side. These trends mean the word “wholesale” is somewhat outdated now, with its use pointing to something narrow and declining today.

What needs addressing in the wholesale world to aid digital transformation?

Digital is the way forward. We have seen immense growth in areas like cloud services, machine learning and IoT, with wholesale carriers no longer voice- and SMS-centric, and becoming facilitators for global network coverage.

Customer experience is becoming a crucial element in the success of wholesale businesses. Carriers need agile, innovative digital solutions to address this area efficiently. Wholesale carriers should be helping communications service providers to deliver a seamless customer experience, increase service awareness and promote loyalty.

The adoption of new technologies such as SDN and NFV is critical in streamlining capex and opex, helping carriers to remain competitive.

What is Bankai Group’s main positioning? How does it serve the market and connect different parts of the value chain?

With decades of experience in the telecoms and fintech industry, Bankai Group offers a unique combination of technology and carrier services to cater to evolving markets. The USPs of our operations on the carrier services side are size, scale, reach and innovation.

We are a diversified global player covering international voice, A2P messaging, airtime top-ups, virtual numbers and a unified-communications [UC] product portfolio under one roof over a direct carrier-grade IP backbone of 150-plus operators.

We serve the evolving communications needs of traditional operators, wholesale carriers, communications platforms, OTTs and content players globally, and drive growth of remote business through UC platforms and other digital initiatives.

How is Bankai Group seeking to reinvent the wholesale wheel beyond connectivity?

Innovation and technology have been our DNA since our inception in 1989. Increased digital-transformation initiatives have created opportunities to extend our revenue streams beyond connectivity, including into areas such as IoT and virtual reality.

Over the years, we are have expanded our service portfolio from the voice-only area to SMS, IoT and the UC platform space.

During the pandemic, we have evolved as a managed services partner to help operators to manage their carrier services operations. Operators want to focus more on network optimisation, so this concept helps them to maintain real-time control of their international voice business, manage operational activities and reduce opex, allowing them to focus on their core business areas.

How do the company’s different offerings, such as BridgeVoice, Panamax and Broadband Telecom, combine to create the right landscape for digital connectivity into the future?

As mentioned, Bankai Group offers a unique combination of carrier services and technology to meet varying customer needs in the current climate.

BridgeVoice Pluto is a solution that offers a premium trading, routing and settlement platform for wholesale carriers, simplifying back-office operations while reducing opex. It acts as a comprehensive interface for global communication needs, which has helped during Covid-19.

We leverage the global network access of Broadband Telecom to provide seamless global connectivity on BridgeVoice Pluto. Thousands of enterprises are using us for their connectivity services. Meanwhile, Panamax, as our technology company, has the right technical expertise to keep market offerings futuristic.

Going forward, carriers will harness digital initiatives to serve new capacity demands arising from content providers and start-ups. Additional services such as data provisioning, home-location-register lookups and IoT SIMs will also be hot topics.

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