UK-based telecoms firm BT Group and cellco Viva Bahrain, backed by Saudi Telecom Company, have signed an agreement to build a Global Internet Protocol Exchange (GIPX) interoperability hub in Bahrain. The hub, set to be launched in the first quarter of next year, is aimed at providing end-users in the Middle East and beyond with more choice, better service and higher quality communication services, Gulf Daily News writes. Under the agreement, Viva Bahrain will deliver hosting and connectivity whilst providing a new route to market for BT’s global Internet Protocol (IP) exchange voice and interoperability service in the region. BT Global Services Middle East & North Africa managing director Wael El Kabbany said: ‘The partnership with Viva Bahrain will enable BT to extend its GIPX footprint to a fourth region, following the launches of BT interoperability hubs in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.’ BT already connects more than 400 IP Exchange customers globally to meet rapidly growing traffic demand.
Viva Bahrain’s CEO Ulaiyan Al Wetaid said that the operator’s customers in Bahrain would benefit from innovation in IP voice (such as high definition voice quality), one-stop roaming solutions combining 2G/3G, LTE and Wi-Fi roaming, as well as modern data services. Bahrain’s Minister of State for Telecommunications Affairs Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa added: ‘Having this interoperability hub in Bahrain will complement the global footprint of IP connectivity and will connect the Gulf and Middle East operators to the best-in-class global IP backbone.’