Wind Hellas Selects iBASIS for Multiservice IPX to Scale 4G Roaming

Wind HellasLexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces that Wind Hellas, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Greece, has connected to the iBASIS IPX network to leverage its full, secure and scalable roaming solution. This includes LTE signaling (Diameter/S6) and LTE Data Roaming traffic (GRX/S8), to enable Wind Hellas to scale and enhance its 4G roaming services for roaming Summer spikes.

Through the iBASIS multiservice IPX network, Wind Hellas gains immediate access to iBASIS’ LTE Roaming footprint of more than 660 networks in 180 countries, which represents 1.5 billion subscribers reached via iBASIS’ direct routes. The move enables a high quality roaming experience for all roamers, especially inbound, given the popularity of Greece as a holiday destination.

With the end of roaming charges in Greece two years ago, subscribers are taking advantage of the new Roam Like Home rules, consequently boosting the demand in roaming services. Greece, one of the four top Mediterranean destinations for travelers, drives inbound roaming revenues contributing to the impressive roaming growth in the country.

“To strengthen our leading position in Greece and fully exploit our newly upgraded 4G/4G+ network covering ~95% population, we strive to provide our subscribers and visitors with superior quality and speed, wherever they are from,” said Vassilis Gkatsos, Head of Carrier & Wholesale Services at Wind Hellas. “iBASIS is a very reliable partner to ensure our service is high quality, offering a fully integrated solution for LTE roaming with redundancy. iBASIS enables us to manage the spikes in roaming usage and better anticipate traffic growth and its associated revenues and costs.”

“Working closely with Wind Hellas, we are able to offer the broadest LTE roaming reach and quality in a cost-effective manner. It better equips them to maximize roaming revenues,” said Alexandre Pébereau, Tofane Global Group CEO. “As an innovative mobile operator, Wind Hellas is taking steps to ensure that it continues to deliver the highest quality services for its customers. We’re thrilled to partner and to help leverage our IPX network and LTE Roaming solution to achieve their goals.”

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks as the Top 3 LTE IPX vendor with 660+ LTE destinations and serves 1,000+ customers across 18 offices worldwide. iBASIS optimizes access, connectivity, and value-added solutions, so customers achieve high return on voice, mobile data, and IoT requirements to be first in their respective markets and in the digital era.

For the second consecutive year, the iBASIS IPX has been ranked as one of the top Tier One IPX Network Vendors, highly rated by more than 200 MNOs for its leadership, i.e. strategic and local expertise and customer oriented- ROCCO IPX Network Vendors Performance Report 2018.

ABOUT WIND HELLAS

With an annual turnover of €500 million and 1.000 employees, WIND Hellas is among the 50 largest companies in Greece and one of the biggest telecommunications firm. It was founded in 1992 and today serves more than 4,3 mil. customers with converged communication services extending from wireless to fixed telephony & ultra-fast Internet as well as Pay TV. Mr. Nassos Zarkalis is Chairman & CEO of WIND Hellas since 2009.

Believing in the power of a modern world where everything is interconnected and where everything is possible if you are connected, WIND invests 100 mil. € each year in building new generation ultra-high speed networks both wireless (4G, 4G+), as well as landline (VDSL, FTTx) networks all over Greece (Fiber optic network).

Driven by its commitment to offer its Customers an excellent communication experience, WIND is constantly evolving. Customer experience is a strategic priority in every operational activity at all contact points.

iBASIS Launches End-to-End Mobile Messaging Monetization Partnering with AMEEX Mobile Exchange

AMEEX mobile

Lexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces today it selected AMEEX Mobile Exchange, a global independent provider of SMS solutions for mobile operators and enterprises, as partner to launch its suite of end-to-end Mobile Messaging solutions to enhance the monetization of SMS.

iBASIS’ mobile messaging solutions will include application to person mobile messaging (A2P) for real time communications and SMS firewall solutions to protect mobile operators against illegitimate routes usage.

“We carefully selected the ideal partner and look forward to engaging with AMEEX to help our customers fully monetize the booming business of A2P Mobile Messaging worldwide. AMEEX brings the most substantial technology credentials and business knowledge in the mobile messaging area,” says Alexandre Pébereau, Tofane Global Group CEO.

Eric Barbier, CEO of AMEEX Mobile Exchange comments, “The selection process to be iBASIS’ partner in delivering mobile messaging solutions, is a strong seal of approval for AMEEX’s technology and services for P2P, A2P and SMS Firewall services. The potential to rapidly monetize SMS traffic is enormous and we are very excited to secure this opportunity with the iBASIS’ team.”

”The A2P SMS opportunity for mobile operators must be delivered with a complex blend of reporting, filtering and analytics solutions that enable delivers discerning business level decisions. With AMEEX, we now offer a high-quality, high-availability SMS solution for global coverage, with the simplicity and protection they require,” adds Patrick George, EVP Product and Business Development at iBASIS.

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks Top 3 LTE IPX vendor, serves 1,000+ customers worldwide and brings together 300 employees across 18 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.iBASIS.com.

ABOUT AMEEX Mobile Exchange

AMEEX is the operator of a global data network of mobile messaging solutions in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. AMEEX offers a wide range of solutions that empower mobile operators and enterprises to connect their subscribers to an expansive international mobile community that spans 83 countries, which are connected by 900 mobile networks. The solutions include global person to person (P2P) interconnection, application to person mobile messaging (A2P) for real time communication. For more information, visit www.ameex-mobile.com or contact info@ameex-mobile.com.

iBASIS Partners with Qroam to Enhance Monetization of Long Tail Roaming

QroamLexington, MA – iBASIS, the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide, announces today its partnership with Qroam, the first wholesale roaming trading platform.

The profitability of roaming business units has been impacted by regulations, decreases in retail and wholesale roaming rates, substantial increases in data traffic and growth in alternative roaming solutions. iBASIS leverages Qroam trading platform to enable its mobile customers with easier access to attractive commercial roaming rates (Inter Operator Tariffs) for medium to smaller roaming volumes in a more efficient and automated way.

“This is a perfect example of the type of solutions we want to enable our customers with. More  than 65% of operators are not doing more IOT discount deals because of resources and time constraint. Typically 80% of roaming traffic is generated by the top twenty outbound countries. Our partnership allows our customers to also optimize and monetize deals for the remaining 20% of their traffic,” says Patrick George, EVP Product and Business Development at iBASIS.

Exclusively designed for commercial roaming teams, Qroam was developed to provide an automated trading platform to unlock discovery of new outbound/inbound opportunities and revenues, while simplifying the process of setting up and managing discount agreements between mobile operators.

“iBASIS strengthens the Qroam trading platform with greater reach and deeper relationships across the mobile industry. We are excited to leverage the traction and dynamism of its IPX community, touching +1,000 interconnects globally, iBASIS is a tier 1 player in the industry with full mobile network reach for roaming across all technologies, on diverse routing, future proof and with full visibility and control. iBASIS and Qroam are sharing the same mandate and strategy to enable mobile operators with novel, easy to execute and profit-driven solutions,” adds Marcel Wientjen, CEO at Qroam.

In addition to concluding discount deals with medium and smaller roaming partners to generate savings, iBASIS’ customers can select back up partners to guarantee best service, and get special offers to cover short-term special events. Combined with iBASIS’ analytics InVision, operators also gain greater visibility, optimization and control over their traffic with sophisticated alarming and identification of specific IMSI behavior.

ABOUT iBASIS

iBASIS is the leading communications solutions provider enabling operators and digital players worldwide to perform and transform. Powered by Tofane Global, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, is the third largest wholesale voice operator, ranks Top 3 LTE IPX vendor, serves 1,000+ customers worldwide and brings together 300 employees across 18 offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.iBASIS.com.

Nordic and iBASIS Partner on Global Connectivity for Cellular IoT Module

AS PUBLISHED BY NORDICSEMI.COM

Nordic partners with one of world’s largest international cellular data carriers, iBASIS, to offer ultra-easy global connectivity for its nRF9160 cellular IoT module 

Every Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160 Development Kit now ships with a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM to enable automatic and instant ‘out-of-the-box’ cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity and roaming in a long and growing list of countries with cellular IoT networks.

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that it has partnered with one of the world’s largest international cellular carriers in voice, data, and IoT services, iBASIS, to make global LTE-M and NB-IoT cellular IoT connectivity ultra-easy, automatic, and instant when using its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) module. 

Nordic has achieved this by bundling a globally-usable iBASIS eSIM with 10 MB of free initial data into all its nRF9160 Development Kits. All a Nordic nRF9160 cellular IoT customer has to do is register their eSIM on Nordic’s nRF Connect for Cloud website to seamlessly connect to the iBASIS ‘Global Access for Things’ network and gain access to an entire range of configurations, monitoring, and connectivity services. 

Although it’s not common knowledge outside of the cellular communications industry, global smartphone connectivity and roaming services are actually provided by only a few international carriers that partner with local national carriers to enable connectivity and roaming for voice, data, and IoT services worldwide. iBASIS is one of the world’s largest international carriers or ‘IP Exchange providers’ and used by over 700 local carriers in over 190 countries. 

As a result, Nordic’s nRF9160 cellular IoT customers get instant high-quality global connectivity without having to go through the ordeal of negotiating and managing multiple relationships with individual local cellular carriers around the world.

Using eSIM technology, they simply leverage iBASIS as a single global connectivity supplier, with a single contract, a single ‘operations’ on-line dashboard, and a single monthly bill that breaks down all global services used. An eSIM is a remotely, over-the-air ‘provisionable’ (programmable) SIM that can hold multiple sets of local network operator credentials in contrast to a traditional SIM card that can only hold one set of operator credentials. The iBASIS eSIM meets all relevant GSM Association (GSMA) standards. 

We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. 

Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS

The nRF9160 SiP – which is available from major global electronics distributors such as Digi-Key Electronics, Mouser Electronics, and Premier Farnell (amongst others) – is significantly smaller, lower power, and has more security features than any other cellular IoT module launched to date for LTE-M and NB-IoT applications. It is also certified for global operation, has a host of unique IoT-targeted features, and is dramatically easier to design-in (see ‘More about nRF9160 SiP’ below).

“iBASIS believes that for IoT to succeed, connecting things should be easy,” says Ajay Joseph, CTO of iBASIS. “We feel IoT connectivity should be turnkey, seamless, and secure. We’re delighted to partner with Nordic Semiconductor to provide an eSIM for Nordic’s nRF91 Series cellular IoT modules. We are reducing complexity, making it easy to support Nordic’s customers’ global deployment, using a single eSIM, for a remotely programmable on demand service. Nordic customers can focus on their core competencies knowing that their cellular IoT connectivity, coverage, speed, latency, and security are all being expertly managed by one of the world’s leading international cellular data carriers.”

“We designed the nRF91 Series from the outset to make cellular IoT easy and applicable to any application that would benefit from a cellular connection,” comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “For us, this extends to every aspect of the module’s operation and customer experience and that includes making international connectivity and roaming automatic and instant. In fact, I think for any IoT application to succeed its wireless IoT connectivity must be that simple. With the iBASIS eSIM, we believe Nordic Semiconductor has delivered this to its customers. It’s also why we believe cellular wireless technology is an ideal technology for building the Internet of Things.”

More about the nRF9160 SiP

At just 10 x 16 x 1mm in size, the nRF9160 SiP is suitable for even compact wearable consumer and medical devices yet is a complete solution that integrates everything a cellular connection and IoT application may need beyond requiring just an external battery, SIM, and antenna. 

To achieve this ultra-high integration Nordic partnered with Qorvo to make a System-in-Package that more closely resembles an integrated chip than a module. The nRF9160 SiP leverages Qorvo’s state-of-the-art, proven RF front-end, advanced packaging, and MicroShield™ technology to deliver a unique, ultra-compact solution that combines high performance with low power consumption. The nRF9160 SiP supports global operation with a single SiP variant thanks to the combination of Nordic’s multimode LTE-M / NB-IoT modem, SAW-less transceiver, and a custom RF front-end solution from Qorvo.

In parallel, the nRF9160 SiP is the first cellular IoT module to incorporate Arm’s latest Arm Cortex M-33 CPU core. This is supported by 1MB of Flash and 256kB of RAM on-board memory. The nRF9160 SiP is also the first module to incorporate Arm’s state-of-the-art Arm TrustZone and Arm CryptoCell security for Internet-level encryption and application protection. Both these technologies are designed for highly energy-efficient embedded IoT products that require the highest levels of performance in processing, power consumption, and security. 

The nRF9160 SiP has 1MB of Flash plus 256 kB of RAM on-board memory with a broad range peripheral set, analog and digital interfaces, 32 GPIOs, a stand-alone modem with full LTE capability, plus a multiband RF front-end.  

Another unique feature of the nRF9160 SiP in the cellular IoT module market is integrated GPS support to allow a combination of GPS and cellular data to be used for more accurate positioning than either technology is capable of when used in isolation. Learn more.

How the world’s largest Bluetooth chip supplier came to be in cellular IoT

Nordic Semiconductor is best known for its leadership (both commercial and technological) in the global Bluetooth® chip market. The wide availability of the nRF9160 SiP module marks Nordic’s official – but brand new – entrance into the low power, cellular IoT wireless technology market.

Cellular is a notoriously complex wireless technology that only a handful of engineering teams worldwide truly have the expertise and experience to design at the architectural level. Nordic Semiconductor’s team all originated from outside the company when Nordic hired some of the smartest cellular R&D engineers in the world from a bout of rationalization layoffs in Finland between 2011 and 2014 from companies such as Nokia, Microsoft, Broadcom, and ST-Ericsson.

This means Nordic’s heritage in cellular wireless technology is on-par with any other company in the world: most of Nordic’s cellular IoT design team have been working in cellular design for most of their careers. And most importantly of all, all technical support for the nRF9160 SiP module will come from engineers who designed the product from the ground up.

Alexandre Pébereau completes acquisition of iBASIS from KPN

AS PUBLISHED BY CAPACITY MEDIA

KPN has completed sale of its iBasis wholesale division to Tofane Global, Alexandre Pébereau’s company that bought Altice’s wholesale interests last year.

Pébereau will rebrand the whole operation as iBasis, through the Tofane name will stay on for the holding company.

“We are bringing together complementary global footprints, deep commitment to innovation, and Tier 1 capabilities, and are now positioned to empower our customers’ performance and transformation strategies worldwide,” said Pébereau today, as KPN announced the completion to shareholders.

Neither Pébereau nor KPN has given a price for the iBasis acquisition – and no price was put on last year’s deal with Altice.

The deal leaves KPN stripped down to its Netherlands broadband, fixed and mobile roots, having sold all its international activities. The last to go before iBasis was the German mobile operation E-Plus, which Telefónica bought in 2015.

There were rumours in late January that Canadian investor Brookfield Asset Management is talking to two Netherlands pension funds about partnering on a potential bid for KPN. A Bloomberg report on 31 January valued KPN at €10.6 billion. Last week KPN reported annual revenues for 2018 of €5.63 billion, down 1.8% on 2017.

Away from KPN, the expanded iBasis will include the international voice carrier business formerly belonging to Altice Europe in France, Portugal and the Dominican Republic, as well as the former KPN subsidiary. It will expand its operations in the internet of things (IoT) and other services.

Pébereau claimed that the combined company is now the third largest wholesale voice operator, with revenues of more than $1 billion a year. Its 300 employees will work with more than 1,000 customers worldwide, he said. According to Capacity‘s information, iBasis’s revenues were more than $600 million a year and the Altice wholesale business had revenues of more than $400 million a year.

Pébereau told Capacity in an interview for the February-March issue: “We will keep the name iBasis but will refresh the brand. The market said iBasis has a long track record and the name is very strong in the carrier community. Everything will be under the name iBasis, for voice, for mobile and for IoT.”

iBasis will retain its long-standing partnership with KPN for voice, roaming, mobile data, transmission, and IoT. Altice Europe and iBasis customers “immediately benefit from the strength of combined markets coverage, voice volumes, and expanded portfolio of mobile data and IoT solutions”, said the company.

“Eleven months ago, in a single week we committed to the acquisition of two competitive leaders. We are proud we’ve closed both transactions and created the top-three independent carrier.”

In a statement issued to mark the closing of the deal, Tofane said: “Consolidating traffic across entities will increase iBasis’s volume by an estimated 80%, direct network operators connections to over 300, and fixed and mobile destinations to 2,000+.”

Tofane will have a “carrier consolidation strategy” that reinforces iBasis’s “commercial independence and financial agility to deliver greater economies of scale and business intelligence”.

The expanded operation will offer managed solutions including “outsourced inbound and outbound voice, roaming services, mobile-to-mobile, global infrastructure sharing for inter-company and third-party traffic, fraud management, and software solutions for real-time routing, billing, and reporting”.

iBasis said it would strengthen and broaden its mobile data portfolio, expanding services across 4G and initiating 5G deployments. It will provide “locally programmable GSMA-standardised eSIM solutions” that will support cellular IoT.

Feddo Hazewindus, who has been CEO of iBasis for three years and will remain in charge, said: “Our top priority is to enable our customers to be first in their respective markets, first across the globe, and first to achieve transformation. Powered by Tofane, we are set to deliver on our promise and on the next phase of our future.”

Tofane Global is backed by financial partners, including Ciclad and Trocadero Capital Partners, with Société Générale as its primary bank.

Tofane Global won our award for the best strategic acquisition in the 2018 Global Carrier Awards. Results in full are downloadable from here

Tofane Global Completes Acquisition of iBASIS

WITH COMBINED REVENUE TOTAL NOW ESTIMATED AT USD 1+ BILLION

• Leaps to third largest wholesale voice operator servicing 1,000+ customers worldwide

• Powers global traffic, mobile data, and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity solutions through market consolidation and investment in innovation

• Launches rebranded iBASIS as its unified commercial brand

Paris, February 8, 2019 — Tofane Global (TOFANE), the leading communications solutions group enabling operators and digital players worldwide, confirms today the closing of its acquisition of iBASIS, formerly a Royal KPN N.V. company.

Combined with its September 2018 acquisition of Altice Europe N.V. international voice carrier business in France, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic, TOFANE now owns and operates all companies, which will be consolidated under the new iBASIS, rebranded to launch at closing.

As a result, iBASIS represents an estimated USD 1+ billion in annual revenue, becomes the third largest wholesale voice operator, services 1,000+ customers worldwide, and brings together 300 employees across 18 offices on four continents.

iBASIS will retain its long-standing partnership with KPN for voice, roaming, mobile data, transmission, and IoT. Both Altice Europe N.V. and iBASIS customers immediately benefit from the strength of combined markets coverage, voice volumes, and expanded portfolio of mobile data and Internet of Things solutions.

“Eleven months ago, in a single week we committed to the acquisition of two competitive leaders. We are proud we’ve closed both transactions and created the Top 3 independent carrier. We are bringing together complementary global footprints, deep commitment to innovation, and Tier 1 capabilities, and are now positioned to empower our customers’ performance and transformation strategies worldwide,“ comments Alexandre Pébereau, Group CEO.

TOFANE powers iBASIS in three key areas:

BOOST GLOBAL TRAFFIC CONSOLIDATION

Consolidating traffic across entities will increase iBASIS’ volume by an estimated 80%, Direct Network Operators connections to over 300, and fixed and mobile destinations to 2,000+. TOFANE’s carrier consolidation strategy reinforces iBASIS commercial independence and financial agility to deliver greater economies of scale and business intelligence.

Managed solutions include outsourced inbound and outbound voice, roaming services, mobile-to-mobile, global infrastructure sharing for inter-company and third-party traffic, fraud management, and software solutions for real-time routing, billing, and reporting. Our expertise demonstrated by the fact that we manage international communication services for four major operators, SFR (France), MEO (ex-Portugal Telecom), Altice Dominicana and KPN, with exclusivity for outbound voice services.

EXPAND MOBILE DATA 

Through investments in products and footprint, iBASIS will strengthen and broaden its mobile data portfolio, expanding services across 4G and initiating 5G deployments. A pioneer in Voice over IP interoperability and a leading IPX Service Provider, iBASIS partners with 700+ mobile operators and enables global connectivity for 1.5 billion LTE subscribers across 660+ destinations. iBASIS ranked a Top Tier 1 in the 2018 ROCCO Leading IPX Network report, leading with its Open Peering, Voice over LTE, and Business Intelligence solutions.

ACCELERATE Internet of Things CONNECTIVITY

As a leading communications solutions group, TOFANE is powering iBASIS’ Global Access for Things solutions for IoT with a multi-year investment plan in IoT innovation and partnerships, as well as extending access to Africa and the Caribbean, and to French and Portuguese speaking markets.

iBASIS provides locally programmable GSMA-standardized eSIM solutions supporting the various categories of Cellular Internet of Things connectivity. iBASIS’ eSIM solutions are active in several verticals, including semiconductors, transportation, shipping, travel, tourism, and automotive.

“Our top priority is to enable our customers to be first in their respective markets, first across the globe, and first to achieve transformation. Powered by TOFANE, we are set to deliver on our promise and on the next phase of our future,“ adds Feddo Hazewindus, CEO, iBASIS.

Founded in 2017 by Alexandre Pébereau, former Orange Carriers CEO and founder of the ITW Carriers’ Council, Tofane Global is backed by financial partners, including Ciclad and Trocadero Capital Partners, and Société Générale as its primary bank. Banque Lazard, Arthur D. Little,
Deloitte, De Pardieu, and Houthoff served as advisors to Tofane Global.

ABOUT TOFANE GLOBAL

Tofane Global (TOFANE) is the leading communications solutions group enabling operators and digital players worldwide with their core strategies, performance, and transformation. As the result of the acquisitions of Altice Europe N.V. and iBASIS, Tofane Global represents USD 1+ billion in revenues, serving 1,000+ customers worldwide across its presence in 18 countries. TOFANE is addressing the USD 40+ billion international voice, data and mobile carrier market, by delivering coverage, scale and solutions to help customers perform and transform in the digital era.

For more information, please visit www.tofaneglobal.com.

iBASIS Brand to Return Under Pébereau’s Control

AS PUBLISHED BY CAPACITY MEDIA

Tofane founder Alexandre Pébereau expects to complete the purchase of iBasis in the first full week of February. He tells Alan Burkitt-Gray of plans for a relaunch and integration with the former Altice wholesale operation.

The new, expanded Tofane Global will make its first public appearances at Mobile World Congress and Capacity Middle East – as iBasis.

The company, which last year completed its purchase of Altice Europe’s wholesale business, will face the market under the long-established name of its second buy.

In mid-January Tofane’s founder and CEO, Alexandre Pébereau, was confident enough that his acquisition of iBasis from KPN that he was happy to give his first interview about the relaunch to Capacity for our February-March 2019 issue. .

“We will keep the name iBasis but will refresh the brand. The market said iBasis has a long track record and the name is very strong in the carrier community. Everything will be under the name iBasis, for voice, for mobile and for IoT.”

The Tofane Global name will stay, but only as the holding company. “Tofane powers iBasis,” he says.

Pébereau, who was CEO of Orange International Carriers until 2016, announced the two planned acquisitions within days of each other in March 2018, first the whole of iBasis, KPN’s wholesale arm, and then the international wholesale activities of Altice Europe, the company that owns SFR in France, the former Portugal Telecom and a mobile business in the Dominican Republic.

“It’s one of the fastest acquisitions in this industry,” he says of the iBasis deal. “We have done it in less than 10 months.”

The two wholesale operations will be integrated, creating a company “with $1 billion in revenues, with 30.5 billion international minutes”, he adds. “We are the third largest wholesale voice carrier and in the top three for LTE IPX. We have more than 1,000 customers worldwide, with 300 employees, and 18 offices on four continents.”

Tofane’s next target: the international voice, data and mobile market, which Pébereau puts at more than $46 billion.

The wholesale operation acquired from Altice, in a deal that was completed in September 2018, already brings Tofane substantial business in the French and Portuguese-speaking world.

The pair of acquisitions has brought Tofane – or the new iBasis – strong relationships with KPN, the former owner of the old iBasis, and with Altice’s businesses, including SFR and the former Portugal Telecom, now Altice Portugal.

“We could be much stronger in French and Portuguese speaking markets, in north and west Africa, and in East Timor in Asia,” says Pébereau.

These areas are “very complementary to the iBasis footprint”, he adds, which is “very strong in North America and western Europe”. With the addition of iBasis, Tofane will get “60-70% of additional traffic on top of Altice”.

The scope of the deals expanded even before they were complete. Originally Pébereau was planning just to buy Altice’s wholesale fixed voice business, but that was expanded before completion to include mobile voice.

Now he wants to invest in several new product segments, including mobile data and the internet of things (IoT), he tells me. “We intend to be much stronger.” He wants to build “a mobile services portfolio.” There are also opportunities in anti-fraud services. Fraud “has become not only a plague but also a source of added value”, he notes – added value, that is, to companies that offer services to combat it.

But let’s take a step back. For someone who has run the international wholesale business of a major global telco, Orange, what is the advantage of a company that is just an international wholesale carrier, with no national retail services? It’s focus, he says. “The telecoms industry has so many deep changes nationally that international services get lost in the loop. We have that focus. The international business is 5% of the business, but only 5%. The added value we bring is that we care.”

And “the international part is very complicated”, he adds. Carriers have to contend with specialised equipment as well as a different set of regulations and many different currencies. “It’s a lot to do, but the market is big enough for an international player.” There’s an extra point: “We are independent,” he says.

What Pébereau refuses to talk about is how much Tofane has spent on its two acquisitions. “All figures are confidential. We cannot comment on the price,” he says.

But “we are backed by strong financial partners, and we have the money to do it”. Tofane Global’s website lists a number of backers, mainly French private equity investors focused on small and medium sized companies.

He’s recruited Patrick George, formerly of Orange, Syniverse and BICS; Manuela Simões, a subsea cable engineer who was later head of roaming and international traffic at Portugal Telecom; Nicolas Barret, formerly SFR’s international VP; and Céline Grégoire, once at Teleglobe and Tata Communications. Technology and IT are in the hands of François de Vulpillieres, once at Nortel and later SFR. “We plan to integrate – everything about the IT and the network has been prepared,” says Pébereau. “Now we are going to deliver our plan for the investors and our customers in the next 12 months.”