Carriers Partner to Expand Global Reach

By  Jessica Rivchin — July 12, 2006

As more and more companies go global, the mobile worker has more needs (and frequent flier miles) than ever. Orange Business Services (OBS)--a recently formed collaboration between France Telecom, Equant and Orange--is responding to this need by partnering with T-Mobile in its first foray into the U.S. market. With this agreement, OBS aims to establish a presence in the United States and meet the demands of its ultra-mobile customers who often travel overseas. Under the terms of the agreement, 7,000 new hotspots offering OBS' Business Everywhere mobility solution will be deployed, bringing total coverage to more than 35,000 hotspots worldwide. OBS is one of many wireless carriers racing to offer their customers easier, faster and more convenient wireless services in more countries--and any provider lacking global access may soon be left behind.

"Our target is to cover the maximum amount of business locations and expand our coverage everywhere," says Mohammed Adnane Retmi, business development manager of OBS' mobility business unit. "OBS has a lot of U.S. customers, and they recently requested to have T-Mobile coverage in our [Business Everywhere] phone book, so that's why we're teaming with them. We are focused on better serving our customers."

As the trend of international expansion continues, the need for increased global access for multinational corporations will be critical, says Retmi, since more mobile workers will be traveling to more locations and they must have access to the services they need, no matter where they are.

Other overseas carriers are following suit and teaming with major U.S. mobile carriers such as AT&T Wireless to provide increased global access to their customers. "Expanding AT&T's global access capabilities gives enterprise customers the flexibility they need to extend their mobile work environment," said Bill Hannigan, president and CEO of AT&T, in a recent company statement. 

In addition to providing users with mobile services, end-user support and security features, many carriers are also offering a single user interface and the option to place all wireless charges on one bill. "What we're providing to the customer is worldwide access on one user interface," says Retmi.

Retmi goes on to say that the company is currently in negotiations with a number of other mobile service providers, both in the U.S. and around the globe. "We are joining forces with T-Mobile to offer different technologies for the end user," says Retmi. "We're working with our sister company, Orange, to offer 3G services, and we're working on similar agreements with mobile providers in the U.S. and abroad. We really want to be able to build a complete set of mobile offerings for our customers."

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