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|Headquarters||Boulevard Roi de Albert II 27|
1030 Brussels, Belgium
|Daniel Kurgan, CEO|
BICS (previously known as Belgacom ICS or Belgacom International Carrier Services) is a telecommunications provider that provides wholesale carrier services to wireline and wireless operators and service providers globally. It is a subsidiary of Proximus Group. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium with sales offices and Service Operation Centers worldwide, including Dubai, Singapore, Bern, San Francisco and New York. BICS provides voice, connectivity, messaging, roaming and mobile connectivity services to over 1,100 fixed and wireless carriers and service providers, including more than 500 mobile operators. In 2012 BICS processed 28 billion international minutes and generated revenues for 1,65 Billion Euros.
- 1997, Belgacom created its business unit Belgacom ICS (International Carrier Services). Later, in the early years 2000, the Belgacom Group deliberately separated the financial reporting of its International Carrier Services to increase financial transparency and accountability.
- January 2005, the international carrier activities were transferred into a wholly owned subsidiary: BICS SA (Belgacom International Carrier Services SA).
- July 2005, Belgacom SA and Swisscom agreed to consolidate their international carrier businesses into a joint venture company, Belgacom International Carrier Services SA (BICS). In this JV Belgacom spun off all the existing international telecommunications carrier services activities and related assets previously run within the Belgacom Carrier & Wholesales business unit. As a result of this transaction, Swisscom and Belgacom assumed joint control over Belgacom International Carrier Services SA (BICS) with respectively 72% and 28% shares.
- June 2009, Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS) announced an agreement with South Africa's MTN Group to combine international carrier services. Under the terms of the deal MTN took an equity stake in BICS in return for merging the assets of its own international wholesale subsidiary MTN ICS. Since then BICS operate as MTN's official international gateway for carrier services globally. Post implementation of the transaction, BICS’ shares distribution becomes the following: Belgacom own 57.6% of BICS, Swisscom 22.4% and MTN 20.0%.
BICS owns and operates a high capacity MPLS enabled global network based on a wholly owned and operated 100Gbit/s capable DWDM network in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, UK and Belgium augmented with leased capacity and submarine cable assets to serve the global footprint.
BICS' international network includes over 700 direct connections in 180+ countries, capacity on 75 submarine cables (including the TAT-14, SMW3, FLAG, Yellow and SAT-3) with 200 landing points, participation in the Intelsat and Eutelsat satellite systems, and over 300 bilateral agreements with other operators. To secure capacity between Europe and Asia for future requirements.
To add physical redundancy, in 2008 BICS invested in the EIG (Europe India Gateway) cable system through their partner Omantel. BICS fully own Teleport in La Ciotat with a large allowed Leased Spectrum (76°5E to 31°5W).
For mobile data, BICS operates its own signalling, SMS, MMS and GRX platforms, which connect up to 400 mobile networks across the globe. Peering connections have been established with over 30 hubbing providers to extend the company reach to the overall mobile community.
Products and technologies
BICS routes voice and data communications across the different networks on an international scale. The voice and mobile data products and services are part of the Mosaic product portfolio. The company is evangelist of developments in new telecommunication technologies as 4G, IP, Wi-Fi, etc. In the first half of 2013 BICS announced the performance of the first intercontinental 4G roaming connection over its IPX platform, between Europe and Asia. BICS historically started off as a voice-only provider, but began to diversify its offering with mobile oriented solutions[buzzword] in the early years 2000.
BICS’ mobile solutions[buzzword] include:
- Connectivity Services: GPRS roaming, Signalling
- Messaging Services: SMS Transit, MMS Transit
- Roaming: single and multi IMSI solutions[buzzword], Instant Roaming and OC Roaming
- Mobile Financial Hubbing Services: HomeSend, an international mobile remittance service
- VAS(value-added services) in both the voice and mobile data domain: SMS Firewall, Welcome SMS, Steering of Roaming, hosted GLR, RoamGuard, RoamFast. These products optimize quality and profitability of operators’ activities.
Since 2011, BICS provides IPX solutions[buzzword] to support the LTE evolution: IPX Access, IPX Transport, IPX Voice, LTE Signalling BICS’ services are backed by a ROADM-enabled 100Gb core network in Western Europe and an MPLS/SHD network in the rest of the world. This enables the company to offer a range of capacity services, going from Ethernet services, over Wavelength services to IP transit services.
- BICS Customer Service Portal (my.bics.com)
- BICS Mobile Financial Services (www.homesend.com)
- BICS Voice Self Services (easyconnect.bics.com/VoIP)
- BICS API portal (api.bics.com)
- "Belgacom Annual Report 2012". Belgacom. Archived from the original on 22 May 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Mergers: Commission approves joint venture between Belgacom and Swisscom". European Union. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "BICS and MTN combine international carrier service". Telegeography. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- James Middleton (1 December 2009). "Belgacom, MTN merge carrier services operations". www.telecoms.com. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "BICS Point of Presence". BICS. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Omantel and Belgacom make joint investment in Europe India Gateway". Telecompaper. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "Mosaic". BICS. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "BICS enables first intercontinental 4G/LTE Data Roaming relation". www.cellular-news.com. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.