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Belgacom global mobile village

By Belgacom

People’s new ability to communicate has changed the world. Mobility and global reach are shortening distances, constantly breaking down barriers and irreversibly collapsing entire continents, nations and cities into communities of nomads spanning across the globe. Our planet has indeed evolved into a Global Mobile Village.

Since its creation, Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale has been at the forefront of International Communications, acting as catalyst for growth in terms of traffic and reach. The mission of Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale has not changed: enabling global interworking among networks across all possible communication standards. As the world of communication is turning mobile, Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale renews its commitment to the world of communication, having developed a comprehensive value proposition for Mobile Operators.

“Belgacom Global Mobile Village” is the brand name of a distinctive portfolio of Carrier Services tailored upon Mobile Operators’ needs. It is made of wide variety of service capabilities and building blocks encompassing infrastructure, global connectivity and value added services, all designed to provide real benefits in terms of increased contribution from traditional services, such as voice, and in terms of key competitive advantage from a faster and more cost effective international coverage for new data services, such as MMS and GPRS roaming.

Belgacom Global Mobile Village helps Mobile Operators to reach their growth target while improving profitability. This is because our product and services are cost effective multilateral platforms, designed to deliver quality, while managing complexity and reducing time to market.

Belgacom Voice First Class Mobile with its unique assured CLI feature allow for increased inbound and outbound roaming revenue as well as facilitating retention of value customers. Assured CLI feature is an out of band 2 ways CLI transmission between Mobile Operators and Belgacom.

Belgacom STP / SCCP Transit enables high-quality Voice and SMS roaming to more than 400+ mobile networks worldwide, including ANSI IS41 networks. Customers benefit form dedicated project team for implementation, round the clock pro-active monitoring and highly skilled technical support backed by industry standard SLA. Several new pricing models are available to lower Mobile Operators cost of ownership with existing International SS7 providers.

Belgacom GRXconnects more GPRS networks that ever before. Its number of directly connected GPRS network has doubled in the latest months, so has the number of peering agreements (17), bringing the total number of reachable GPRS networks to 120+. New Mobile Operators in Europe, Asia and Africa have chosen Belgacom GRX for its reliability, its competitive pricing as well as for its on-line performance monitoring tool with its unique AS2AS reporting features that allows mobile operators to monitor real time traffic patterns by roaming partner.

Belgacom SMS/MMS Transit is the ultimate answer to Mobile Operators needs for extended international messaging coverage to benefit form the expected growth in messaging while gaining competitive advantage. SMS Transit, and its future MMS evolution, offers unrivalled international coverage with 600+ destinations across all wireless standards, mobile number portability support, delivery receipt integrity and last but not least advanced SMS firewalling capabilities which in combination with SCCP Transit filtering provides bullet proof protection against spamming and unsolicited messages.

Negotiating deals for access to international networks can be a minefield, but outsourcing part (or all) the traffic can provide safe passage.

SMS
The international SMS interconnect fee was introduced mid-2001 when some mobile operators started to demand compensation for the use of their infrastructure to terminate mobile messages. Previously, mobile operators had assumed that inbound and outbound SMS traffic would be relatively symmetrical and decided that they did not need to establish termination fees for the dataflows. Where do the stumbling blocks originate?

The prediction that SMS traffic would be symmetrical proved wrong for three reasons:

First, numerous content providers began to sign wholesale or so-called bulk SMS deals, whereby operators agree to send large numbers of messages on their behalf to international destinations.

Secondly, some mobile operators and virtual networks also began to sign bulk SMS deals to undercut tariffs of local rivals.

Thirdly, there was a natural imbalance of messages sent and delivered between operators with a small base of subscribers and those with a large number of customers.

In 2001, GSMA issued an SMS inter-working handbook called AA.19, to help mobile operators sign international bilateral agreements for messaging termination fees. However, although termination fees have been established nationally, international agreements have been much harder to broker, leading some operators to block SMS messages originating form other mobile networks, with large imbalance between messages sent and delivered.

Phenomena such as SMS spamming, as well as the growing nuisance caused by unsolicited SMS, have discouraged mobile operators to open their networks for international SMS termination.

The introduction of complex mobile data products is forcing mobile operators to position their resources towards implementing MMS inter-working agreements to gain first-mover advantage in national markets that are becoming increasingly competitive.

The net result is that mobile operators have a limited number of international destinations open for SMS.

In the majority of cases, less than 10 per cent of their International Roaming Agreements have the correspondent AA.19 signed and implemented.

In the effort to increase ARPU and capture additional contribution from termination, mobile operators are facing the problem of how to extend their international SMS coverage with a limited number of internal resources for negotiation, implementation, management and invoicing.

On a per destination basis, mobile operators would have to do it themselves or look for a trusted international transit provider. Alternatively, they might want to outsource part or all their international SMS traffic while maintaining real-time visibility of resource usage, contribution to the business, and so on.

Navigating through international networks SMS Transit is the Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale outsourcing proposition specifically designed for mobile operators who need to extend their international SMS reach while lowering their total cost of ownership. In essence, SMS Transit delivers:

  • Seamless SMS mobile terminating services to a large number of destinations as yet uncovered by AA.19
  • Outsourcing of existing AA.19 inter-working agreements with data clearing and net invoicing
  • Centralised SMS protection against SMS spamming and unsolicited/ harmful SMS
  • Interconnection to non-GSM networks including TDMA, CDMA and AMPS
  • Continuous visibility on service performance, reporting, and fault management via web-enabled customer care.
By connecting to Belgacom SMS Transit network, mobile operators gain larger SMS coverage, without additional operational burden, while taking advantage of a single point of contact as well as transparent charges for each destination.

MMS
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a store and forward messaging service, which allows mobile subscribers to exchange multimedia messages with other mobile subscribers. This new messaging service supports the transmission of additional media types such as text pictures, audio, video and any combinations of them. Technically MMS is implemented on top of the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Therefore at the network level, this messaging service may use any of the bearers, which are supported by WAP. Some examples are GPRS Circuit Switched Data and SMS. The submission and retrieval of multimedia messages is handled by dedicated functions within the network, the so-called MMS Relay Server. The MMS Relay Server is often called MMS Centre (MMSC) for analogy to SMS case.

MMS Interworking
MMS Interworking is defined as the mechanism that allow subscribers of a Mobile Network to send and receive MMS to / from subscribers of others Mobile Networks. For analogy with SMS Interworking case, MMS Interworking is seen as key enabler for a mass adoption of the service (according to Baskerville, by the end of our forecast period in 2006, MMS services will only just be starting to take off globally, generating forecast traffic revenues of US 26,340 billion).

However today a number of glitches are delaying the implementation of bilateral interworking agreements, including: MMSC service interoperability; address resolution, complexity of charging models, integration within existing interconnect billing, etc . Interworking at national level is taking place today, while international interworking is left at second stage once some of the issues are going to be solved.

MMS Transit Service
It is believed that Mobile Operators would benefit from a multilateral platform providing MMS Transit Services towards a number of destinations to complement the set of bilateral agreements being established in the early stages. A reliable and ubiquitous MMS Transit Service would extensively leverage the global GRX Network used today to exchange GPRS and MMS roaming traffic among Mobile Operators. In essence MMS Transit would deliver the following integrated services at MM4 interface (the interface implementing the information flow to exchange MMS between Mobile Networks): Recipient MMSC discovery with Mobile Number, Portability Support Routing and Transport over GRX Unique Charging Model for large number of destinations, Data Clearing and Net Invoicing, Secondary MMS Relay Server Barring / Filtering, Content Screening and Anti Spamming.

Company profile
Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale is the carrier division of the Belgacom group. It is a major global carrier, dedicated to serving the needs of fixed, mobile and Internet operators. Belgacom Carrier & Wholesale has the right credentials to be a trusted partner of mobile operators thanks to its unique financial stability, its potential for growth and its extended experience in transit business.

For more information, please contact:
Joseph-Philippe Hogenhuis   joseph-philippe.hogenhuis@belgacom.be



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