iBasis and Telecom Italia – Sparkle Announce Successful Migration of International Bilaterals to IP

First to fully migrate bilateral voice traffic to IP in compliance with i3 forum specifications; iBasis and Telecom Italia Sparkle combine efficiencies and promise of IP with guaranteed features such as CLI and roaming; provides clear path to IPX

BURLINGTON, Mass. and ROME, Italy – 01/18/2010 – iBasis, a KPN company, and Sparkle, the international wholesale arm of Telecom Italia Group, have announced today the successful migration of their bilateral voice traffic to IP. Both Companies believe they are the first to accomplish full migration to IP of their international voice bilateral in compliance with guidelines developed by the i3 Forum, an independent industry alliance created to promote an industry-wide transition of voice and related services to Internet Protocol (IP).

Prior to completing the migration both Companies validated the implementation of Premium Voice services over managed IP interconnects in a series of extensive trials which proved that the SIP-I protocol could effectively guarantee advanced call features such as CLI, international roaming, ISDN Data, fax and ISUPv2.

The iBasis Premium Voice product delivers the highest quality of service (measured by ASR, ACD, and NER percent) with guaranteed advanced features such as CLI, fax, ISDN Data and roaming. Since August of last year, iBasis has enabled access to the service via managed IP interconnection and has experienced strong demand in the marketplace.

Sparkle intends to pursue migration to IP of most of its international Voice bilaterals in order to further gain operational efficiency, enhance its product set that today is limited to international narrow band voice, fully exploit IP and end-to-end IPX capabilities, and leverage its NGN Class 4 platform, which Sparkle introduced in the European wholesale arena in 2005.

“We at Telecom Italia – Sparkle are very pleased to have completely migrated to IP our international bilateral with iBasis,” said Francesco Armato, CEO of Sparkle. “Telecom Italia and iBasis have long been leaders in using IP for international voice service, and we are now continuing to lead the industry being the first to fully migrate bilateral traffic to IP in compliance with i3 forum guidelines. This is a significant achievement for Sparkle and iBasis and for the international telecommunications industry.”

iBasis’ more than a decade of experience in utilizing IP for international voice transmission combined with the TDM network acquired through its affiliation with KPN, enables the company to offer its customers the best of both worlds. It leverages the company’s extensive global IP infrastructure and expertise for as much of the transmission as possible without degrading the quality of service or feature support, and supplements direct IP routes with TDM wherever reliable high-quality IP is not yet available. As a result, iBasis is able to maintain the guaranteed quality and features of its Premium Voice service, while taking advantage of the efficiencies of IP whenever feasible.

“We’re thrilled to have achieved this migration with Telecom Italia,” said Paul Floyd, Chief Operating Officer of iBasis. “Telecom Italia is leading the way, but there is widespread demand among fixed and mobile operators to migrate international Voice bilaterals to IP in order to take advantage of the efficiencies and potential of IP while maintaining very high quality of service. Our Premium Voice service over managed IP offers that capability. This approach is also a great step towards the IPX hubbing model which will allow mobile and fixed-line operators alike to easily monetize all kinds of traffic, including chats, video conferencing and presence through standardized IP interconnects.”

About iBasis Premium Voice
iBasis Premium Voice sets the standard for very high quality voice termination worldwide, especially for operators who require advanced features such as guaranteed CLI, Fax, ISUPv2, ISDN Data and roaming capability. Premium Voice provides high quality termination to more than 240 countries via bilateral and direct routes, with carefully selected suppliers. Customers can interconnect to Premium Voice via SS7/C7 circuits, Managed IP or the Public Internet to iBasis ICOs Globally. All IP interconnections leverage iBasis’ proprietary IP technologies for quality assurance.

About iBasis
Founded in 1996, iBasis is a leading wholesale carrier of international long distance telephone calls and a provider of retail prepaid calling services and enhanced services for mobile operators. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of voice termination services, value-added messaging, signaling and roaming services for mobile operators, as well as outsourcing services for many of the world’s largest fixed and mobile operators and VoBB service providers. In December 2009 iBasis became a wholly-owned subsidiary of KPN. iBasis customers include KPN, KPN Mobile, E-Plus, BASE, TDC and many other large telecommunications carriers such as Verizon, Vodafone, China Mobile, China Unicom, IDT, Qwest, Skype, Telecom Italia, and Telefonica. The Company can be reached at its worldwide headquarters in Burlington, Mass., USA at +1 781-505-7500 or on the Internet at www.ibasis.com.

About Telecom Italia Sparkle

Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. (TI Sparkle) is the wholly-owned Telecom Italia Group (NYSE:TI) subsidiary with the mission to develop and consolidate the Italian telco’s international wholesale business. As a global carrier, TI Sparkle offers a full range of voice, data, Internet protocol (IP) and bandwidth service solutions to fixed and mobile network carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and, in tandem with Telecom Italia, to multinational enterprises and groups. Find out more about Telecom Italia Sparkle at www.telecomitaliasparkle.com.

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