TC3 Part 3: UNIFI Communications- An Interesting Global VoIP Network Provider

Introduction:

UNIFI Communications is not a well known telecom brand name. Yet the company handles one billion minutes of annual global traffic  from over 100 million subscribers, through 22 peering locations or “points of presence.” That makes it one of the largest IP, international carriers in the world! The accomplishments, innovations, and future directions from this 13 year old company were described in an interview during the second day (September 19th) of TC3.

TC3 (Derek Kerton) Interview with Adrian Shatku of UNIFI:

UNIFI Communications operates a global network which provides wholesale services to operators and large enterprise customers all over the world. Their global VoIP network reaches over 250 countries via bilateral interconnects, which connect targeted consumer and enterprise end customers.

The company has invested significant capital to finance the expansion of its international network on a worldwide basis and as a reseller of telecom traffic to the wholesale market. UNIFI’s physical network is composed of segments that are built, bought and aggregated. They have a regional focus to either aggregate or build network capacity as needed.

UNIFI has gained direct contact with many nation-wide telcos in Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and Africa. Through those business relationships, UNIFI has expanded its network with other countries and gained multiple strategic relationships. UNIFI has also established successful routes in remote countries such as Albania, Poland, Turkey, Cameroon, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone. As a result, the company provides fixed and mobile infrastructure solutions to Western, Central and Eastern European countries, Caspian Sea regions, Africa and the Middle East. Russia is a new target market for the company.
UNIFI offers service creation tools that enable operators and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to develop their own applications – either internally or through a developers’ network.  The UNIFI Network was said to be “one of the world’s largest international Cisco-powered networks for Internet telephony.”

The company also markets an increasing number of retail telephony solutions and services, including wireless. Adrian said that smart phone usage is skyrocketing and may drive UNIFI’s revenue and profit margins in the near future.  As a result, wireless/mobile connectivity has become increasingly important to the company.

The UNIFI Mobile App supports 2G, 3G, 4G-LTE, and WiFi. It connects targeted consumer and enterprise niche market customers with UNIFI’s global VoIP network so that they can make and receive voice calls from any Internet connected location. A Global Local Reach Number is used to make it appear as if the call is between parties in the same local country, even when it’s an international call.

UNIFY is targeting independently owned mobile operators to work with them to provide global VoIP and possibly enhanced voice services (like Rich Communication Service or RCS). The company is even considering becoming an MVNO (reselling a wireless carriers mobile voice/Internet services).

UNIFI Global VoIP network leverages public Internet connectivity and strategically located global international gateways to provide voice termination services at very competitive rates to many major destinations and niche markets, including locations where UNIFI flexibly adapts to legacy network architectures (see UNIFI Interconnection diagram below).

This is a block diagram of the Unifi global network.
Image Courtesy of UNIFI

In summary, UNIFI’s reliable and highly secure international network utilizes state-of-the-art fiber-optic network infrastructure to provide:

  • Global Coverage
  • High Quality & High Availability
  • Competitive Rates, Best Value Routing (BVR) & Carrier Neutrality
  • Flexible Interconnection (TDM, VOIP-H.323, VOIP-SIP, etc.)

To increase and diversify the range of products and services offered, UNIFI is currently evaluating innovative solutions with partner companies in the following areas:

  • UNIFY Mobile App and Support System
  • OTT Content Delivery Platform
  • Class 5 (local exchange) VoIP Switching Platform
  • Automatic Termination Rate Analysis and Loading System
  • Automatic Termination Rate Distribution System

Note: A video of this TC3 interview is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWox_v9suCM


UNIFI’s Mission Statement:

A few days after TC3, Adrian wrote in an email to this author:

“As a nimble, rapidly adaptable, niche market telecommunications services provider, the Global Voice Network operated by UNIFI Communications must continuously seek to leverage the most innovative, secure, and reliable technologies available in order to support state-of-the-art telecommunications and technology services for individual, enterprise, and/or government customers to:

  • Communicate More Cost-Effectively

  • Conduct Business Anytime from Anywhere

  • Effectively Leverage Advanced Technologies”

Closing Comment:

Our 2013 TC3 coverage has tried to bring readers new content from this year’s event, while not repeating similar messages relating to carrier-vendor relationships, start-up partnerships with equipment vendors, or case studies that were discussed at last year’s summit. We think that UNIFI is a great example of interesting and fresh content. It’s a very intriguing wholesale global network provider that most folks have never heard of. Yet the company has a very interesting value proposition. We wish them success in their future endeavors.  Please express your opinion on these articles by posting a comment in the box below each of them.  Many thanks!

0 thoughts on “TC3 Part 3: UNIFI Communications- An Interesting Global VoIP Network Provider

    1. Agree! UNIFI is a terrific success story most people (including me) have never heard about before. Thanks for the coverage!

      Wonder if there are any other small and nimble global network operators or independent telcos today?

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