Centralizing voice interconnects
When you use mobile roaming services or make an international call, you don’t need to worry on how your call is being established. Just dial the number and it works. Usually.
At VimpelCom International Services (VIS) they work every day on making these international and roaming calls possible. VIS is the centralized unit of the VimpelCom group that takes care of all roaming and international call matters. Technical, commercial, legal and financial specialists make sure that VimpelCom’s 13 mobile operators, serving 220 million customers, have the best arrangements with almost any other operator in the world.
The centralization of VimpelCom’s interconnect relationships—contracts allowing for VimpelCom customers to connect with mobile subscribers of other operators around the world—was launched in March 2015, following approval by the board last summer.
NTCS was involved in the preparations. Two consultants, Albert Bakker and Jeroen Meuleman, joined the team for a 5 months period and took responsibility for the Commerce Stream.
One billion minutes
The Operating Companies of the VimpelCom group (the OpCos), amongst which the trio Beeline in Russia, Kyivstar in Ukraine and Wind in Italy that are responsible for a large share of the group’s business, have over 400 relationships with other fixed line and mobile operators in the world. Such relations comprise of international network connections, billing and pricing arrangements and continuous commercial negotiations of traffic volumes and termination rates. In total the group deals with one billion minutes of international voice calls each month.
The centralization process involves moving relationships and contract management to Amsterdam, along with central monitoring of traffic flows, quality management and fraud prevention. Calls would move, where feasible, to VimpelCom’s own interconnect hubs in Stockholm, Milan, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
To retain knowledge of local interconnect relationships, the Interconnect team is populated with a number collegues from the OpCos who have joined the Amsterdam-based team.
For more background about Interconnect, this video with Rob Luesink, Head of Interconnect and Albert Bakker, NTCS’s Project Manager for the Commerce stream provides additional insights into the project and how the centralization was achieved.