Now, global roaming hubs for CDMA operators

By : |May 29, 2009 0

MUMBAI, INDIA: Today, most of the telecom operators and service providers both in the GSM and CDMA segment globally offers international roaming facility to their subscribers.

But the roaming facility is only available to the subscribers on the condition that the particular telecom operator in the respective country has signed bilateral agreements with the networks and telecom operators in other countries.

However, for any telecom operator, it is a major challenge to sign such bilateral agreements and forming mutual arrangements for roaming services with operators across the world. Normally, executing the bilateral agreements takes about six months.

In order to overcome this issue, the CDMA Development Group (CDG) have decided to setup international roaming hubs which will facilitate telecom operators to form multilateral agreements using routers. This move aims to give boost to the CDMA operators across the global.

Technically, the roaming hubs will be large routers that will provide access to multiple networks and operators worldwide with a single agreement with the router operator.

According to Perry LaForge, CDG’s chairman and executive director, the vendor of router will facilitate roaming services using the router where multiple operators can be connected and can offer one-to-many seamless mobile connectivity to subscribers on roaming.

“These roaming hubs or international routers will be commercially launched in the month of June in regions such as Americas, Africa and other places,” LaForge informed CyberMedia News.

Apart from the signing bilateral agreements, the service charges during roaming remains a major business concern between the telecom operator and the carrier or network provider in respective countries, which includes payment settlements, billing service etc.

While talking to CyberMedia News, James S. Person, CDG’s COO said, “The roaming hubs will be more beneficial to new telecom operators as they can directly get access to multiple networks and operators with a single agreement with the router vendor.”

Further, Person added the telecom operator will have to pay charges to the router vendors for availing roaming facility and also will reduce the time taken during forming bilateral agreements.

“Technically, availing roaming services doesn’t take much time but the business level mechanism involved in facilitating roaming services consumes lots of time. The business mechanism remains uneasy in terms of payments and settlement unless the operators have good mutual relations and understanding with the network providers,” Kanwalinder Singh, president of Qualcomm India & South Asia, commented.

Singh added that hub will make seamless business for the operators. According to CDG there are about 300 CDMA operators and over 450 million subscribers across 102 countries.

There are now more than 100 million CDMA subscribers in India, making it the world’s second-largest CDMA market, said CDG. Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices are placed among the top five CDMA operators globally, ranking second and fourth, respectively.

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