Tofane begins a new connectivity chapter

17 July 2019 | Laurence Doe

Cover

The ink has now dried on Tofane’s latest acquisition agreements; however, the company’s momentum is picking up pace once again. Alexandre Pébereau (pictured), the company’s CEO and founder, talks to Laurence Doe.

Pébereau is highly anticipating the return of International Telecoms Week (ITW) this year as a new Tofane group will return after two key acquisitions from Netherlands telco operators KPN and Altice.

The new group’s form is now complimented not only by iBASIS, a well-recognised name in voice-over-IP (VoIP) wholesale, but also by Altice’s former international carrier voice businesses in France, Portugal and the Dominican Republic, which have been consolidated under the new, rebranded iBASIS.

According to Tofane, these new acquisitions have more than 1,000 customers in 18 countries and the group will use its resources to develop solutions and deliver coverage and scale to the international voice, data and mobile carrier market, which Tofane estimates is worth over $40 billion.

With a great amount of excitement in his voice, Pébereau says he is holding on until the industry gathering begins to reveal more about how Tofane’s iBASIS will harness the “strong opportunities” of the global communication market.

With the addition of iBASIS, Pébereau says that the group has gained a better foothold in the industry through “very strong strategic relationships” that bear wholesale solutions for tier one telecom operators in areas such as 5G product development.

“iBasis has a strong ability and is considered number three in the world for voice traffic and number three in the world for 4G roaming, but we definitely want to grow the company aggressively and rapidly because we see ourselves as the long-term developer of this market and want to give more and more solutions to our customers to help them focus on their own priorities,” states Pébereau.

The new iBASIS will be growing rapidly with a product portfolio expansion that will follow three parallel avenues of development.

Its first route will be to independently develop its products.

iBASIS has facilitated 4G/LTE roaming over multi-service IPX networks with testing for operators, “but we want to continue this long tradition of the company and continue to do our own product development,” explains Pébereau.

One of the ways iBASIS will achieve this is through creating an algorithm that supports its InVision platform’s ability to track, monitor and manage mobile data roaming by applying the capabilities to the internet of things (IoT).

This is all part of the new iBASIS focus on global connectivity and global access for IoT service providers, which aims to simplify the deployment of connected cars, industrial IoT and logistics services that rely on embeded SIM (eSIM).

“We, as one of the top providers of eSIM deployment, are providing the next generation of M2M communication with embedded SIM,” explains Pébereau. “In February 2019, we signed a partnership with Nordic Semiconductor, one of the world’s largest Bluetooth chip suppliers, so that iBASIS eSIM will be in all of Nordic’s newly launched modems and IoT cellular modules, which are suitable for compact wearable consumer and medical devices.”

Over the past year, iBasis has tripled its customer base by addressing verticals such as these, with transportation, semi-conductors, logistics, and travel to name only a few.

However, the energy that will fuel iBASIS’s journey down a second avenue of development will come from partnerships.

Pébereau highlights AMEEX, a global independent provider of SMS solutions for mobile operators and enterprises, as one partnership to watch as it will lead to a new SMS messaging system that will rejuvenate the mature market “with many new revenue opportunities”.

He explains that AMEEX is helping mobile operators to recover losses in areas such as application-to-person (A2P) messaging, which, he adds, is still “a booming market in regions where smartphone penetration is less dominant and where SMS remains critical for communications”.

The final avenue that iBASIS will venture down is mergers and acquisitions, which Pébereau delicately describes as a process of “cherry-picking” the partners that have a strategic alignment and provide mutual benefits for product development.

“That’s where we reinvest, in our projects, to enlarge the scope of the company and provide more services to operators,” he adds.

The routes that iBASIS is traversing may not be easy, but Pébereau has an attitude that should relax the company’s shareholders.

In a confident conclusion, he says: “We are the carrier, we take you wherever you want, and we will bring you there first.

“We will be there first – for copper to fibre, as that is the origin of telecoms, through 4G and next through to 5G, our customers will be first with us – to markets, to technology and to their transformation.”

View this executive interview as a digital page in the June/July edition of Capacity magazine and see what other great articles you may have missed out on!