XConnect moves to global routing as it disconnects German business

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

XConnect sells German number portability to Enghouse as it focuses on global routing

XConnect has sold its German number portability business to Canadian company Enghouse Systems but is building up its global voice and messaging routing operation.

Neither XConnect, based in London, nor Enghouse, based near Toronto, have disclosed the price for the transaction, which sees about 20 of XConnect’s 60 staff transfer.

The German operation, which was called SMS.de until XConnect bought it three years ago, focused on number porting in the local market. “We felt [Enghouse] was a natural place for it,” XConnect CEO Eli Katz told GTB at the Messaging & SMS World conference in London. “We’re more about global services.”

The price was more than XConnect paid three years ago, said Katz. “We’d deliberately kept it non-integrated.” However the global XConnect and the German operation have both operated with the same brand for the past few years.

Sunil Diaz, general manager of Enghouse Networks, said: “With over 70 customers, [XConnect Germany] establishes Enghouse Networks in Germany and provides a base to sell XConnect as well as Enghouse products. We are very pleased to welcome XConnect [Germany]’s customers and employees to the Enghouse Networks organisation.”

The global XConnect operation is expanding into voice routing, said Katz, particularly in the wholesale voice market. “Carriers need to deliver calls to the right mobile operator and not incur transit charges.” This is particularly vital now with the increase in A-number based charging, when the final operator in the chain can charge different rates to deliver calls, depending on their origin.

“Operators can decide to apply a surcharge if you send the call to the wrong operator – and that can be really painful,” said Katz. XConnect has built up a database that matches numbers and operators, he said, that allows the wholesale carrier to send a call to the right destination.

The company is also seeing opportunities in rich communications services (RCS) and voice over LTE (VoLTE). “Is this number accepting VoLTE calls?” said Katz. “If so a carrier can keep it all IP.” Similarly carriers need to know whether RCS-originated messages can be delivered as RCS to the final destination.

XConnect is mainly owned by private equity investors. Directors include Ohad Finkelstein, former chairman and CEO of Interoute, and Paul Reynolds, formerly of BT and Telecom New Zealand and now a board member of Eircom Holdings, which owns Irish operator Eir.