Communications and broadband provider The Carphone Warehouse Plc is using equipment from VoIP infrastructure provider Sonus Networks Inc for its “next-generation” network.
The rapid transition of Carphone from Europe’s largest independent mobile handset retailer into a telecoms and ISP rival to the likes of BT Group Plc and Cable & Wireless Plc has been well documented. Its residential TalkTalk service currently has 2.6 million customers, while its free broadband offering has signed up 340,000 subscribers.
Opal Telecom Ltd is a wholly subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse and it is the network operator for the TalkTalk service. Carphone acquired the then-independent fixed-line carrier Opal Telecom Plc for 83m pounds ($153m) in November 2002. It also offers voice services mostly to the corporate and SME market in the UK, and has 150,000 business customers. The Opal network carries over 1.5 billion minutes of voice traffic per month, and by the end of 2006, it hopes to double that number.
Under the terms of the multimillion-dollar contract, Opal is deploying Sonus’s products as the foundation for Carphone’s next-generation network. Among the Sonus equipment Opal will deploy is the ASX Access Server, GSX9000, PSX Call Routing Server, SGX Signaling Gateway, and the Sonus Insight Management System.
Carphone Warehouse is currently investing 60m pounds ($109m) in its local loop unbundling push. It will have unbundled over 200 exchanges by the start of July and it hopes to have its own equipment installed in 1,000 UK telephone exchanges by May 2007. This will give it direct access to 70% of the UK population, and open up its capacity to offer a triple-play service (fixed-line, broadband, and mobile).