In a move that may have major impact on the shape of the IP-based telecommunications landscape, North Carolina-based Bandwidth.com yesterday announced its acquisition, in a cash transaction, of Colorado-based dash Carrier Services, a telecom service provider most notable for its development of a VoIP-compatible 911 emergency services notification system.
The two companies—which were already partners before the acquisition—have strong synergy, according to Steve Leonard, general manager of Bandwidth.com ‘s wholesale services division.
“The important thing about dash—and similarity to Bandwidth.com—is making telecommunications, voice services, and in dash’s case, emergency calling services, easier—removing a lot of the complexity that historically is there,” Leonard told Enterprise VoIPplanet.
“We think of it as big pipes and wire and hardware. And both dash and Bandwidth.com have turned it into software and made it easy to use, with tools like our online portals and the APIs that we’ve created,” he said—”tools companies need in order to be flexible and innovative in this space.”
Many of the companies in question are the developers of voice applications for the ever-increasing flood of mobile devices for Android, iOS, and the many, many tablet PCs from a host of vendors.
“As these application continue to grow and more and more people use them, Bandwidth.com believes that 911 is going to be a regulatory requirement, and we’re investing in it ahead of the market. So when it does become a requirement, we’re ready to play, with our own vertically integrated solution—so that these VoIP services we’re providing and powering have 911 inherently built into them,” Leonard told VoIPplanet.
Dash’s emergency services-911 technology is unique in using geo-spatial coordinates—latitude and longitude—to convey the location of the caller. “It’s even more reliable than the standard addressing system,” Leonard explained. “This is increasingly important in a world where people are turning mobile devices into communications devices that are using Wi-Fi technology and are always on the move,” he said.
Moreover, with the overwhelming popularity of SMS messaging, Bandwidth.com developed and launched over the past year, SMS services that terminate messages from virtually any device over multiple networks, using any protocols necessary.
With Bandwidth.com services moving forward, emergency service communications will be deliverable via SMS.
“We have an assumption,” Leonard explained. “If I have dialtone and I can use it for voice communication, I can use that for emergency services. If text messaging is my primary form of communication, then it needs to be enabled for emergency services. It’s incredibly important that whatever we use for communications has the capability to provide our emergency services.”
As a combined company, dash/Bandwidth.com will be ahead of the pack if and when the FCC does mandate 911 service for IP-based voice.
“We expect that to happen relatively soon,” Leonard said.