SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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Etisalat SmartHub IPX and iBasis Peer to Deliver High Quality LTE roaming Experience

Etisalat, the largest telecom operator in the Middle East and North Africa, today announced an LTE roaming peering agreement with iBasis, a KPN company and leading international carrier and provider of data services and solutions for mobile operators.

Etisalat SmartHub IPX will peer with the iBasis LTE Signaling eXchange (LSX) for LTE roaming and signaling. The new LTE roaming peering agreement builds on the companies’ pre-existing IPX connections for GRPS roaming eXchange (GRX) and data services. The agreement will ensure Etisalat’s roaming customers enjoy seamless and high quality LTE experience.

The first and only IPX hub in the Middle East, SmartHub IPX enables 4G/3G roaming service, voice service, messaging service, data exchange and IPX transport between Mobile Network Operator (MNOs), Fixed Network Operator (FNOs), Application Service Provider (ASP) and Over-the-top content players through a single connection.

The iBasis LSX and multi-service IPX provide a comprehensive solution to the complexities of international roaming across 3G and 4G (LTE) networks through a single interconnect and ensure interworking between existing Signaling System 7 (SS7) networks and Diameter-based LTE networks. The telecom protocol SS7 is used in an advanced intelligent network for various telephony services and helps offload data traffic congestion onto a wireless or wireline digital broadband network.

Ali Amiri, Executive Vice President, Carrier & Wholesale Services, Etisalat said: “With the growing importance and adoption of LTE, we want to ensure that our roaming customers enjoy the consistent, high quality LTE experience they expect from Etisalat. The peering agreement with iBasis LSX will set high benchmarks in providing our LTE end user’s best-in-class roaming connectivity worldwide and access to a global footprint of LTE operator networks.”

Willem Offerhaus, CEO of iBasis said: “As LTE adoption spreads rapidly around the world, the challenges of international LTE Roaming are becoming increasingly important. We are very pleased to peer with an innovative operator like Etisalat UAE to ensure a consistent high-quality experience for LTE subscribers.”

About iBasis LTE Signaling eXchange

The iBasis LTE Signaling eXchange (LSX) service provides a single point of access to the international 4G Diameter signaling network, complemented with 2G and 3G MAP Signaling interworking services to non-LTE networks. The LSX ensures that a connected operator’s LTE customers receive best-in-class connectivity worldwide and access to a global footprint of LTE operator networks. iBasis operates a live 4G (LTE) signaling network with Diameter Routing Agents in key locations around the world. Through direct connections to many mobile operators’ LTE networks and its open peering policy, iBasis delivers a global LTE Roaming footprint that reaches more than 60 LTE networks. iBasis also offers a trial environment for testing LTE interworking and roaming scenarios and a complete portfolio of products over its multi-service IPX platform including HD Voice, GRX, SMS and Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

About iBasis

A wholly-owned KPN company, iBasis is a leading international voice carrier and a provider of data services and solutions for mobile operators. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of voice termination services and data services, including messaging, signaling and roaming, for many of the world’s largest fixed and mobile operators, as well as “over-the-top” and voice-over-broadband service providers. iBasis customers include KPN and its mobile operators, KPN Mobile, E-Plus, and KPN Belgium, and more than 1,000 other providers, including Verizon, Vodafone, China Mobile, China Unicom, Skype, TDC, Telecom Italia, and Telefonica. The company has recently launched lteroaming.info, a blog site providing insights about LTE roaming, VoLTE, IPX and related topics. Find out more about iBasis at www.ibasis.com.

About Etisalat SmartHub

Etisalat UAE Smarthub is the largest capacity, content, internet, messaging and data hub in the Middle East. Smarthub provides regional access for global service providers and global access to the region. Smarthub includes the Middle East’s first IPX and includes the region’s largest portfolio of internet content. Smarthub IX (Internet Exchange) will extend the reach of Smarthub content. Connectivity to Smarthub is provided through a robust and diverse infrastructure of both regional and intercontinental cable systems combined with world class hosting facilities in the Smarthub datacenter managed by Etisalat’s Carrier& Wholesale Services

About Etisalat

Etisalat is the largest telecommunications operator in the Middle East and North Africa region catering to consumers, businesses, international telecommunication companies, ISPs, content providers and mobile operators. Servicing more than 144 million customers in 15 countries in Middle East, Asia and Africa, Etisalat has achieved more than 20% growth in subscriber base in 2012 across its land line, mobile, and Internet services. Etisalat is now the highest overall rated telecommunications company in the GCC and the 4th highest rated telecommunications company in the world. It has been rated AA- by Standard & Poor, A+ by Fitch, and Aa3 by Moody's. Etisalat UAE has pioneered the launch of the region's first commercial 4G service on its nation-wide LTE network. In September 2012, Etisalat UAE successfully completed the highest 4G LTE speed test in the world, reaching speeds of 300Mbps. The corporation offers a variety of hi-tech complimentary services to the telecommunications industry including managerial and technical training, SIMcard manufacturing, e-payment solutions, clearing house services, peering, voice and data transit, and submarine and land cable services.

iBasis, KPN and Etisalat are registered marks. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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