Those of you who know Simwood well, know we believe passionately that everyone in the supply chain to the end-user should be adding value. You’ll also know that our model in the UK is essentially to have clambered our way up to an enviable position in the food chain by replacing suppliers with our own infrastructure and relationships. We’re now embarking doing the same in the US!
The US is not a new market for us and, in fact, if I go back 15 years or so, the USA was bigger for us than the UK. Back all those years ago we were transiting 40m+ minutes a month to the USA. That gave us some great connections and friends, many of whom have endured the test of time. The system however remains very alien to us and incredibly complicated, not to mention compliance heavy.
The wonderful thing though, is that things are fundamentally fair. If you know which particular agency manages which particular acronym, they’re happy to help you. There’s some games go on with former monopolies but for the home of protectionism, the straightforwardness is really refreshing and quite different to the shenanigans we endure in the UK. It is a certain kind of irony that they aren’t the ones with a Micky Mouse regulator stifling competition, but that is another rant for another day. Of course, whilst everyone has a fair chance, the laws of economics and intellect apply!
We managed to navigate the waters to get CLEC status in one state in 2017 and that opened a number of doors but there’s another 49 states, each one is different, and there’s multiple layers of complexity overlaid. The USA isn’t just one huge country from a telephony point of view, it is part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) which includes Canada and many islands – everyone using the +1 country code basically. Whilst number portability is impressively fit-for-purpose, there’s some sensible constraints, e.g. you can only port numbers in an area of the NANP that you have footprint. Ergo, we need to roll out numbering round the entire USA to be able to authentically service the whole of the USA.
So, to that end, I’m delighted to make two announcements…
Firstly, we welcome Tom Hadden to the team as COO of Simwood Inc. I’ve known Tom for well over 10 years, possibly more like 15, and there’s no one I trust more to build things for us in the USA. Not many people can list networking for pre-launch shuttle sequencing for NASA on their CV, nor lighting the first fibre ring around the entire bay area in California. Tom can, and in his more recent years he’s built out CLECs in more than a dozen States. He brings simply unparalleled expertise in the areas that we need, along with a hugely experienced ready-made team and address-book assembled over 30 years.
Secondly, Tom and team are already working really hard executing a plan to roll Simwood Inc out nationwide. We will be interconnected with National Tandems with access to over 10,000 Rate Centers (centres!) capable of porting in and out. In specific target markets, we’ll control the entire numbering block and be what is known as the SPID. This is a huge amount of work but we’re in very good hands.
In the mean-time, we’ve been building relations with a number of the largest tandem providers to improve the quality of our US termination and gain immediate access to their porting and numbering resources. This means US porting and numbering is coming very soon!
Tom should be at SimCon2 and I hope you’ll all join me in welcoming him onboard and share our excitement.