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Bilateral Wi-Fi Roaming Access

VSNL Selects Quiconnect As Its WBA WRIX Partner To Deliver Bilateral Wi-Fi Roaming Access For Consumers By Working With The World's Leading Telcos

Other topics: WiMAX Interoperability Testing, WiMAX Subscriber Growth, Asian Wi-Fi Market, Enhanced GPS Measurements, WiMAX Financing

May 24, 2007

VSNL is the first Indian operator to provide global Wi-Fi roaming for customers as they travel overseas and need Internet access Quiconnect to deliver Wi-Fi interconnectivity initially with WBA members and with other international telecoms companies following shortly
Quiconnect today announces that it has been chosen by VSNL[1], a leading international telecoms solutions provider, to be its WRIX[2] integration partner as VSNL signs bilateral Wi-Fi roaming deals with international carriers. This will see VSNL considerably extend Wi-Fi coverage for its customers as they travel worldwide, as well as providing foreign telcos access to its network of around 300 public hotspots throughout India. Quiconnect will deliver the Wi-Fi technical roaming integration and implementation services required to deliver this for all parties, branded to the consumer's familiar telecoms provider.

VSNL is part of the $27 billion Tata Group. It pioneered Internet services in India and today provides dial-up, broadband, and Wi-Fi services under the Tata Indicom brand name. VSNL operates around 300 hotspots throughout the country at important, high traffic locations comprising international and national airports including Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Goa; hotels such as the Taj and Le Meridien chains; cricket stadiums, along with numerous cafes, hospitals, banks and shopping malls. VSNL plans to open another 1,000 hotspots this year to increase Internet access to business and net-savvy travellers on the move.

VSNL has always been at the forefront of Wi-Fi services in India providing access where people most want it. Global Wi-Fi roaming is another leadership initiative which will make VSNL the first Indian operator to offer its customers this capability. VSNL is also the only Indian operator to offer a flexible pre-paid Wi-Fi card - for use both nationally and internationally - where consumers pay for actual usage online rather than forfeiting credit if purchased time isn't used.

Prateek Pashine, VSNL's Vice President Marketing & Technology, Retail Business says, "VSNL's philosophy is to offer products and services that can be accessed seamlessly across the globe without customers having to change their service providers. Working with Quiconnect, we want to create a VSNL branded global Wi-Fi network to enhance customer convenience as more and more people from India travel and require Internet access."

Initially, VSNL will be marketing enhanced global Wi-Fi services to its business customers given the majority of business users have laptops.

Quiconnect has long been championing the approach, recently adopted by the WBA, to make WLAN access on the move simple and easy. In October 2006, it became one of three companies to be WRIX accredited and able to provide public WLAN services to the WBA membership which comprises 28 of the world's leading telecoms companies.

WRIX is a new standard created by the WBA in 2006 with the express purpose of standardising and simplifying how network operators and service providers interconnect technically to extend their network footprint in order to provide WLAN access to their subscribers on the move. Historically, these interconnections had been bespoke, complicated and difficult to manage. The WRIX standard addresses these issues by standardising various criteria involving technical interconnections, data and reporting, as well as financial and clearing house services.

To achieve WRIX accreditation, Quiconnect had to, firstly, meet extensive technical standards and guidelines as defined by the WBA, secondly, be chosen by a WBA member to provide integration services and, finally, have established at least two connections among existing WBA members which has been done.

Jeff Mabe, Quiconnect's commercial director, says, "Simply put, you have to meet the specifications, then actually prove you can do what you say by showing evidence of delivery. We've ticked all the boxes based on our specialism and innovation in the public WLAN arena. Based on a recommendation from an existing global telecoms customer, we're delighted that VSNL has chosen us as its WRIX and look forward to swiftly broadening international hotspot coverage for them."

About Quiconnect
Quiconnect is a specialist provider of systems integration and interconnectivity management solutions for telecommunications carriers in the wireless broadband sector. Through its carrier-grade interconnection management platform, Quiconnect connects discrete commercial IP networks worldwide to create multiple custom-tailored virtual networks, uniquely configured and branded for individual carriers. It provides unique technologies to simplify and securely automate user connections to these virtual networks, provides monitoring and support tools, manages accounting records, and provides financial settlement services in partnership with established clearing houses.

Quiconnect provides custom tools, technology and services to manage interconnections for multiple bilateral roaming and access agreements - ensuring end-to-end integrity, reducing costs, and enabling a consistent carrier-branded user interface across multiple networks, platforms and applications.

Headquartered in London UK, Quiconnect was founded in 2001 and has offices in France, the USA and Hong Kong.

About The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA)
An invitation only group comprising the world's leading telecommunications companies, the WBA is an industry alliance created in 2003 to drive adoption of wireless broadband technologies and services around the world through the development of common commercial, technical and marketing frameworks for wireless network interoperability. The WBA's goal is to develop a global alliance of wireless providers to deliver reliable, consistent WLAN services that users can trust and which offer good customer experience.

The WBA membership today includes some 28 companies including BT (UK), CSL (Hong Kong), Korea Telecom (South Korea), Orange (France), Portugal Telecom, StarHub (Singapore), Téléfonica (Spain), Telmex (Mexico), Telstra (Australia), VSNL (India), NTT (Japan), and T-Mobile (USA, Germany, Austria, Holland and Czechoslovakia).

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