Primus expands global VoIP operations

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 20 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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MCLEAN: PRIMUS Telecommunications Group (Nasdaq:PRTL), Friday announced that they have signed an interconnection agreement to exchange Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic.

Telecom Colombia is not only the incumbent carrier but also is the largest fixed telecommunications provider in Colombia. Telecom Colombia has become a partner in PRIMUS's Open Settlement Protocol (OSP) network, a platform which uses "open" standards for the exchange of VoIP traffic, the company claimed.

The addition of ColTelecom to PRIMUS's global Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) network will enable PRIMUS to offer increased coverage for improved quality of service when terminating voice traffic in Colombia for its retail and carrier customers around the world. PRIMUS sent nearly 2.5% of its international originated voice minutes to Colombia in 2001. The interconnection agreement also will provide PRIMUS with an improved cost structure when terminating calls in Colombia.

With one of the highest teledensity rates in Latin America which has significantly grown in recent years due to the deregulation of the Colombian telecommunications market in 1998, Telecom Colombia controls a substantial share of its country's international voice traffic. This traffic may now be sent through PRIMUS's network to directly connect with over 80% of the world's telecommunications market. Telecom Colombia has joined other telecommunications carriers, businesses and consumer customers who use PRIMUS for their international telecommunications services because of its high quality global network and strong value proposition.

"We are very pleased to have begun working with PRIMUS, which we view as a carrier without equal given its leading position in international voice telecommunications built over many years, a global network that it owns and operates, and improved financial condition," said Carmina Amaris, Interconnection and Carrier Relation Manager of Telecom Colombia. "Telecom Colombia customers will benefit from PRIMUS's extensive worldwide reach and tier-1 service quality. And as an OSP partner, we will be able to generate additional revenue streams from other carriers around the world terminating traffic in Colombia."

"Our agreement with Telecom Colombia's ColTelecom provides PRIMUS with a key relationship in Colombia, which is an increasingly important market for international telecommunications," said John Melick, co-President of PRIMUS Telecommunications, Inc. and one of the principal developers and implementers of PRIMUS's VoIP initiatives. "PRIMUS will be able to terminate its increasing volumes of traditional voice and VoIP traffic in Colombia through the country's largest and most established carrier. With Telecom Colombia participating as an OSP partner, they will have the ability to send VoIP traffic around the world and to receive traffic from PTTs and qualified carriers in other countries. Both Telecom Colombia and PRIMUS are capitalizing on the continuing trends of globalization, deregulation and advances in technology to improve the services they deliver to their customers and to grow their respective businesses."

PRIMUS developed its VoIP platform on an "open" network, allowing interoperability of different voice gateway hardware in a single clearinghouse solution, which is unlike other offerings that use proprietary equipment in a closed-network type configuration. In addition, this network, or Open Settlement Protocol (OSP) platform, eliminates the need for costly bilateral agreements for its Internet service provider (ISP), Internet telephony service provider (ITSP), and other carrier customers in order for them to originate and terminate worldwide traffic. The PRIMUS OSP enables the authorization, routing, rating and settlement of VoIP calls between service provider partners.

By employing OSP, PRIMUS has accelerated its entry and growth prospects for VoIP services, allowing the Company to focus on marketing its VoIP telephony solutions and eliminate the expense and time required in developing proprietary in-house systems. Upon joining PRIMUS's OSP, carriers, ISPs and ITSPs will have immediate access to the global VoIP marketplace and be able to cost-effectively terminate VoIP calls worldwide.

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