First of all, let us apologise for the lack of updates recently; we’ve been very busy behind the scenes bringing all the necessary components together to launch what we believe will be the most comprehensive wholesale mobile service available in the UK.
When we last discussed mobile we had a proof of concept up and running where we had voice text and data flowing through our network with the ability to pass that traffic directly to our customers. Since then we’ve expanded the scope of this project after finding the existing solutions available to us to be quite restrictive both technically and commercially. After a lot of research we decided that if we were going to make the product we wanted then we needed to get our hands dirtier and build even more of it from the ground up.
To that end we are now recognised by the ITU as a smart card “Issuer” meaning we will issue our own SIM cards (running our own code, no less!), we have our own mobile number range data-filled and delivering calls into the Simwood network, and we will shortly have SMS and mobile number portability (MNP) for this range. More interestingly we will be uniquely able to manage voice, SMS and MNP for other mobile range holders as a new Virtual Interconnect Mobile product – we couldn’t find an off the shelf solution to this in the marketplace and know this has been a stumbling block for many an operator.
In short, the most significant difference since our last update is that we will have much more access and control over our own mobile core while still using one of the UK’s four major mobile networks for radio access. We’re not telling you which one yet but we think you’ll be pleased!
What this means for you is a rock solid mobile network with an API for provisioning and controlling SIM cards, choosing to terminate traffic directly through your existing Simwood trunks or routing calls via your own equipment for you to build whatever wonderful services you can imagine. We think this is a massively exciting prospect!
In the negative, the hardest part remains entering an essentially protected market. The ITU applications were relatively painless (kudos to them) but we continue to struggle with OFCOM’s apparent dynamic policy-making to justify denial of the most basic (yet fundamental) numbering resources. Similarly, whilst the Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) on Simwood mobile numbers is at the lowest level in the industry, in-line with OFCOM’s mandated reductions, not all the larger mobile networks have them “in-bundle”, playing ugly messages to their subscribers and charging premium rates to call them. We’ll keep battling though as we’re determined to open this space up!
We haven’t yet locked down a launch date since any determination we’ve put on factors beyond our control will be way off, as we warned before. We believe the massive changes we’ve made to the original scope of this project will be well worth waiting for, and the factors within our control are progressing really well.
We hope we’ll be able to update more frequently now. Meanwhile, if you’re UK Mobile range holder unable to offer SMS and porting on your number ranges, then get in touch about Virtual Interconnect Mobile! This is (simply!) voice, SMS and porting so you can compliment your existing MVNO arrangement and are not forced to use our SIMs. We’ll be on-boarding ranges to Virtual Interconnect Mobile in quarterly batches and are assembling the next one now!