Across The Telecom Spectrum: 6 Moves Making Waves In The Channel

February Bustles With Telecom Moves

Appropriately, many companies in the telecom industry came together just in time for Valentine's Day.

February saw several partnerships form between telecom master agents, communications providers, and agent partners.

Additionally, one communications provider unveiled its new name -- derived from a company it purchased -- and a national master agent snagged an industry vet to support partners in the Southeast region.

What's more, one telecommunications carrier grabbed additional spectrum, and revealed plans to acquire more -- to expand its reach and improve its coverage.

In case you missed it, here's a review of six telecom and service provider news and moves that happened in February.

T-Mobile Snatches Up More Spectrum For Expanded Coverage

In an effort to keep up with competitors Verizon and AT&T, telecommunications provider T-Mobile revealed, it has acquired more spectrum in the low-frequency 700 MHz band. The spectrum grab will expand the carrier's coverage footprint over the next year to 18 months, T-Mobile said.

The recently acquired spectrum will allow the carrier to reach about 48 million more consumers and business customers in the U.S. The additional coverage will also be particularly helpful for improving indoor coverage, T-Mobile said.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier also plans to acquire more spectrum in the upcoming 2016 airwave auction.

T-Mobile has been putting more of a focus on the channel over the past year and a half, and has invested in more programs and staff geared toward agent partners, according to channel partners for the carrier.

WTG, Cal Net Join Microsoft CSP Program

Master agent World Telecom Group (WTG), alongside Cal Net Technology Group, a Chatsworth, Calif.-based solution provider, have joined Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP).

The partnership between WTG and Cal Net will allow the two companies to give WTG agent partners access to Microsoft cloud solutions -- like Office 365 and Azure -- as well as implementation expertise and support services, Malibu, Calif.-based WTG said.

"Joining the CSP program and aligning with Cal Net Technology Group, who is well-known for long-term project management excellence, allows us to build stronger relationships with our agents and VAR partners, and provide them with the best cloud solutions support available to grow and develop their businesses," said WTG CEO Vince Bradley.

ThinkingPhones Becomes Fuze

Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) provider ThinkingPhones acquired San Francisco-based video conferencing startup Fuze in November. But in February, 10-year-old Cambridge, Mass.-based ThinkingPhones assumed the identity of the startup.

The rebranded ThinkingPhones, now known as Fuze, will continue to offer cloud-based communications, including messaging, voice and video, as well as contextual data around the communications via technology the company has acquired within the past two years from big data company Contactive and cloud-based service provider WhaleBack Managed Services.

The former ThinkingPhones worked with the channel and had relationships with multiple master agents, including Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys and Chicago-based Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI), but the company has yet to announce any changes to its channel strategy following the rebrand.

Bigleaf Networks Joins Master Agent Telarus' Portfolio

Partners of Salt Lake City-based master agent Telarus now have access to network analytics and optimization solutions from Bigleaf Networks via a newly minted partnership.

Portland, Ore.-based Bigleaf, a provider that sells via indirect channels only, has joined Telarus' portfolio of supplier partners. The partnership gives Telarus sales partners access to Bigleaf's managed services offerings, including load balancing, VoIP quality of service (QoS) capabilities, IP failover and real-time analytics.

"Our optimization service is a perfect addition for any telecom agent or IT consultant looking to provide a more stable platform for the migration of their customers' critical applications to a cloud-based architecture," said Bigleaf's vice president of partner sales and business development, John Hogan.

Intelisys Adds To Channel Management Team In The South

Master agent Intelisys has nabbed Robert Fish, formerly channel manager for telecommunications provider Windstream, to join its team of regional channel managers.

Based in Atlanta, Fish is now serving as senior channel manager for Intelisys' Southeast region. In his new role, Fish is managing the master agents' sales partners throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the master agent said.

Fish brings 23 years of telecommunications experience to the position. Before his appointment with Intelisys, Fish spent 10 years as a channel manager for Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream.

Master Agent X4 Adds Broadview Networks To Portfolio

Mokena, Ill.-based master agent X4 Solutions has added communications provider Broadview Networks to its portfolio for its reseller partners.

Via the terms of the partnership, X4 sales partners will have access to Broadview's OfficeSuite portfolio of services, which includes its cloud-based unified communications (UC) system, cloud-based videoconferencing product, and disaster recovery services.

Broadview's OfficeSuite of cloud-based services is geared toward small and midsize business customers, according to RyeBrook, N.Y.-based Broadview Networks.