Leading international voice and mobile data carrier BICS (Belgacom International Carrier Services) provides international wholesale solutions to mobile and fixed operators throughout the world. To support these global customers, the company has implemented around 100 PoPs throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. It continuously expands its network and service portfolio in line with evolving technology and customer requirements.
A leader in mobile voice and data solutions
“BICS has always had a strong focus on mobile and today we have one of the largest bases of on-net mobile operators in the market,” said Eric Loos, Senior Product Manager for Capacity and IP at BICS. Half of BICS’s 800 customers are mobile operators; the company’s track record of innovation and quality in advanced solutions like LTE roaming is a key factor in that success. BICS established the world’s first live LTE roaming connections between operators in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. Today, its award-winning service enables LTE roaming for over 95m subscribers through more than 70 of its mobile operator customers.
Working in partnership delivers all-round benefits
Given the demand among mobile operators for BICS services and networking solutions, it’s hardly surprising that when looking for rack space, many operators prefer to co-locate at data centres where BICS has a PoP. The presence of BICS at six Interxion data centre campuses — Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna and Zurich — enables mobile operators to deliver the best end-user experience.
“The biggest challenge for wholesale carriers in Europe is the fragmented nature of the market,” said Loos. “Interxion’s metropolitan locations help us optimise connectivity to our customers. And if our PoP and a mobile operator are in different Interxion facilities in the same city, Interxion works with us to find the most efficient way to connect them to our network.”
While the presence of BICS at an Interxion data centre can attract a mobile operator, other ‘pull’ factors are also at work. If a prospective BICS customer co-locates at another Interxion data centre, BICS may choose to add a PoP there. “Interxion always makes it easy and cost effective for us to move in,” said Loos. “In addition, if any of our customers ask us to find them rack space at a co-location facility, we can do so under our resale agreement with Interxion.”
The co-location resale agreement is just one example of how the relationship between BICS and Interxion has developed over the years from a standard customer–supplier relationship into a two-way partnership.
“The resale agreement is transparent, with known margins and making it work depends on each of us having visibility into the other’s sales model,” said Loos. “That’s made possible by the high degree of trust that exists between our two companies.”
A thriving connectivity marketplace
Co-locating at Interxion gives BICS access to a number of leading European Internet exchanges, making peering convenient. In addition, Interxion’s carrier-neutrality makes it much easier for BICS to find the right partners to work with.
“You’ll always find the largest community of connectivity providers in a carrier-neutral data centre,” explained Loos “As well as there being no competition from the operator, costs are much lower than at a carrier-run facility and there are no penalties for bringing in other carriers.”
Being carrier neutral also means that Interxion doesn’t promote individual carriers when it comes to connectivity sales. “What Interxion does really well is to facilitate an open marketplace, where participating carriers will find plenty of opportunities to grow their business,” concluded Loos.