Westel provides glue between carriers

Perth-based telecommunications company Westel is planning to deliver transit switching services to local carriers by July this year.

Largely suited to smaller carriers, transit switching involves the wholesale switching and facilitation of calls between carriers. The service eliminates the need for direct interconnection links with other carriers.

Scott Frayne, managing director of Westel, said the service will also offer cost savings to carriers. "We offer carriers million of dollars in savings by reducing their transmission and infrastructure costs. We will provide a switching hub for telephone traffic and identify the destination through our telephone number porting system and then deliver the calls to the direct network for termination," he said.

"These services are very much in demand . . . the big carriers (Telstra and Optus) don't see this as a mainstream business," Frayne said. "We don't plan to compete with them because there seems to be quite a gap."

Westel is planning to be the "glue" between carriers, much like facilitators in other industries such as finance and insurance, Frayne said. "We will not be a licensed carrier and we don't need to be. We are a wholesale carrier."

While smaller carriers are more likely to subscribe to the service, Frayne said larger organisations could also benefit from the savings and complementary services.

Westel will initially use existing surplus switching infrastructure already in place throughout Australia, but it is expected more equipment will be installed as subscribers increase. "It is important to have (wide) geographic coverage."

Westel's planned number porting service, announced last year with ATUG (the Australian Telecommunications Users' Group), is expected to fit well with the transit switching service. "It's very logical to have them both living together," Frayne said.

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