Mobile roaming deals tend to be bilateral affairs, but as carriers have to engage with larger numbers of partners, and with more complex deals, roaming hubs are gaining in popularity.
These bring together several roaming allies with a common set of terms and conditions, and a single technical platform. Two of these hubs, BICS and Vodafone Roaming Services, are pooling resources to connect their two communities and achieve greater efficiencies.
BICS consists of Belgacom, Swisscom and South Africa's MTN, and it will initially use the partnership to manage their roaming traffic with Vodafone operators.
“This cooperation is a major step for the mobile industry to guarantee seamless roaming for all mobile users when they cross national borders, and is a direct response to the expansion of the mobile environment globally in terms of subscribers, networks, technologies and applications,” said Daniel Kurgan, CEO of BICS.
He said the initiative hopes to eventually have an addressable 1 billion mobile customers for operators on both hubs to market to.