International Carriers are something that we don’t talk about every day in this business, but they are becoming more important to our business and to your customer’s businesses. Today we’ll go over our international portfolio and talk about some key differentiator and questions you need to thinking about when you’re talking to international clients.
The Telarus international portfolio is currently made up of around a dozen providers. All of these carriers have been split up into two different groups for today’s discussion, United States based carriers and international carriers.
United States Based Carriers
When we say “United States based”,we are referring to companies with the nexus of the ownership structure in the United States. These carriers are important because these companies will usually bill your customers, so if your customer wants their bill in the United States and in US dollars, these will be your best option. Typically one portion of the solution you’re going to sell through them is going to be tied to the United States so whether it’s a network, or a few locations for broadband access, you are going to have some type of nexus in the US when dealing with our US carriers.
- AT&T – Serves thousands of customers on six continents, including all of the Fortune 1000.
- Verizon – Provides businesses and governments around the world with leading IT, security, communications, network, and mobility services.
- CenturyLink – Provides data, voice and managed services to business, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers.
- Level 3 – Strong international player especially in Canada, Europe, and Asia as a result of their acquisition of Global Crossing a few years back. Global Crossing was almost entirely focused on the international market space.
- Masergy – Owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication solutions to global enterprises.
- Cogent – A multinational, Tier 1 facilities-based ISP, consistently ranked as one of the top five Internet backbone networks in the world.
- Zayo – Provides lit and dark fiber bandwidth infrastructure solutions and carrier-neutral colocation. Currently providing their services in seven countries.
- Global Capacity – Multi-site, multi-state, multi-country network solutions – Global Capacity’s One Marketplace network takes the headache out of sourcing and managing multiple suppliers across divergent geographies – delivering services with one MSA, SLA, and invoice no matter the location or access solution.
The second group is made up of carriers who are truly international, meaning they are not US based. These companies have headquarters in foreign countries with maybe a field office in the United states. They can bill in foreign currency and directly, they can also set up a network in those countries. These carriers usually don’t buy wholesale from other places. They operate around the world and also have domestic presence in their respected countries.
- China Telecom – If you didn’t know that Telarus had signed China Telecom it is because they haven’t been launched yet, and are currently not on your iPhone app but they will be by the end of this month. They have a huge presence in South America, and China along with the best rates.
- NTT Communications – Known as the “gateway to Asia” with total ownership of submarine cable infrastructures and the lowest latency from APAC to the US. 80% of the Global Fortune 100 use NTT for their mission critical global infrastructure and IT needs.
- TATA – If you have Data Centers or Contact Centers in India Tata is the one you’ll want to talk to. They also have a huge presence in the philippines.
- Telia – Also called Telia Company, Telia Carrier is a company that provides network infrastructure and services to more than 1,200 customers in 80 different countries worldwide. Their IP network, AS1299, has grown from being the largest IP network in Europe to being the second largest IP network in North America and the second largest in the world.
- GTT – A global network integrator providing a broad portfolio of Wide-Area Network (WAN), Dedicated internet access and mobility services. GTT combines multiple networks and technologies such as traditional OC-x, MPLS and ethernet, to deliver cost-effective solutions. Their focus is on voice and cloud-based services
- Expereo – Expereo manages over 2500+ providers across 200+ countries to provide fully managed internet services with standard Ethernet handoff, static IPs, feet on the street, SD-WAN, in a single partner to help support your customers in the US or globally. They are headquartered in the netherlands.
- Telstra – A leading telecommunications and technology company offering a wide range of services globally, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. They have around 3,000 employees based in 22 countries outside of Australia providing services to hundreds of business and government customers. Telstra provides technology solutions for business and government customers, including data and IP networks, network application services such as managed networks, unified communications, cloud, industry solutions and integrated services.
These are the companies that can get you access, which means internet access, MPLS, SD-WAN, and field techs. The second group of carriers we discussed the ones who will have the most field techs, while the first group of carriers are going to be the ones that rely on their foreign partnerships to get some of this work done. It’s important for you to know that because a lot of the times when work orders are handed off from one provider to another provider it creates some issues, but when you go right to the provider who is providing the service, everything happens a lot faster.
Below we have listed some of things you should take into consideration when you’re talking with an international client.
- Point to Point – Is one of those locations in the United States or not? For example if you’re going from Dubai to Japan then you have to look at the second group of carriers who are the true international carriers. If at least one of those points is inside the United States then the first group of carriers who are United States based will be your best bet.
- MPLS- If most of the locations are in the United States and just a few outside you will want to go with one of the United States based carriers. If majority of the locations are foreign and you only have one or two connections in the United States, the second group made up of truly international carriers will be your best choice. Of course that after the choice is made you will have to look into which carriers are available in the specific area your client is in. The best way to start it out is just to narrow it down by country.
- Stand-alone Internet Access – If you’re looking for stand-alone internet access anywhere outside the United States you almost always have to go directly to the second group of international carriers. It is very rare to get stand-alone DIA because that’s regulated under the local government regulations according to the particular country. Stand-alone internet access has to be done by a carrier who is native to that country or a carrier that has Nexus in that country.
- Last Mile – There are two different ways that carries can get last mile overseas
- A type two connection, which means they have network to network interface agreements with that company. This is very expensive and technical. Companies like Level3 and Global Capacity have a lot of NNI’s.
- If you want to go from dozens to hundreds of options you actually have to just buy the last mile, in some cases retail which means the customer will have to go out and buy the last mile and route that back to their network. This opens them up to a lot more options.
- In-Country DID Numbers – There are many countries that will allow DID Numbers so your client can have an in-country number, but there are also many counties that do not. There are carriers in our portfolio that don’t offer voice at all or local DID number. A good way to figure out which carriers offer DID numbers and which don’t you can look at the Hosted UC Matrix that we talked about last week. You have to remember even if the carrier has a green check box it doesn’t mean they offer DID Numbers to all the countries.
- Billing – When you’re dealing with a company that does not want to pay their bill in dollars you will have to find a carrier that has a nexus in that country. Nexus meaning an operating unit that has been registered with the local government that can actually bill in native currency.
- SD-WAN – Some of the carriers we work with don’t have their own native SD-WAN or even resell it yet. It’s important for you to understand what companies can do it and which can’t, specifically which carriers have equipment on standby so if something breaks you don’t have to FedEx a new unit out to the country.
- Cloud and Colo Access – We talk a lot about Comcast, Level 3, CenturyLink and their ability to provide cloud connectivity directly into Azure or directly into AWS. What that is code for, is the ability to deliver connectivity directly into the data center in the United States where Amazon and Microsoft are co-locating their equipment. This applies overseas.
Public Cloud Zones
All previous cloud connectivity discussions have been focused just on the North America, but as you can see from the image below Amazon has cloud zones in Brazil, Europe, and now they’ve also brought in Indonesia, Australia, China, and Japan. It’s important to know what your client is doing in the public cloud, be we can also build private clouds.
In the image below you can see the zoning for the public clouds in the Microsoft environment. You’ll see that they’ve got a pretty comparable footprint with Amazon and. Microsoft has locations in Silicon Valley, Central US, North Central US, South Central US, and East US. They also have Brazil, Ireland, Amsterdam, and a good footprint across Asia, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore.
It is very important for you to be aware that today there is more need for connectivity internationally than there ever was before because internet and cloud access is worldwide technology upon which everyone is standardizing. Knowing the different types of international carriers, and what they can and can’t offer, is a great way to differentiate yourself and help your business grow.