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

The Telecom Industry Partners Up

The heat didn't slow down the telecommunications industry this month. Channel partners, telecom service providers, and master agents alike joined forces to build up new offerings, extend the reach of existing solutions, and better serve business customers, proving that partnering was the name of the game in July. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also readied itself for the upcoming spectrum auction.

Here are six newsworthy things that happened in the telecom industry last month that solution providers should know about now.

FCC Completes Part One Of Upcoming Spectrum Auction

The FCC started the first part of the upcoming spectrum auction at the end of March and announced that it had completed "part one" of the auction in July.

The first part of the auction involved freeing up airwaves by TV broadcasters who are no longer using the spectrum. The TV broadcasters involved have agreed to sell a "substantial amount" of 126 MHz of spectrum for $86.4 billion to the FCC.

The highly-awaited auction process itself, which will involve wireless operators, telecom and cable providers, is expected to kick off as early as this month. During this part of the process, service providers will bid on these airwaves, which are being resold by the FCC.

Comcast To Buy Arris' Shares To Boost Provider's Cloud Business

Telecommunications equipment provider Arris International has entered into an agreement with Comcast that would allow the cable giant to buy up to 8 million of Arris' ordinary shares over the next two years.

Via the terms of the deal, Philadelphia-based Comcast can buy between one and three million shares in 2016 and another one to five million shares in 2017. The agreement is based on the number of products and services Comcast buys from Arris. Additionally, Comcast is required to purchase a set percentage of products and services included in Arris' network and cloud portfolio, according to the companies.

In June, Arris International expanded its channel partner program into the United States and Canada.

Cox Communications Opens Master Agent Partner Program

Telecom and cable provider Cox Communications launched a master agency program this month. The Atlanta-based provider named Hermosa Beach, Calif.-based Sandler Partners as one of the first master agents to join the program.

Cox Communications said that it currently works with more than 350,000 small and regional business customers. Its new master agent program will open up Cox Communications' services to a slew of new solution provider partners. The relationship with Sandler Partners will expose the master agent's community of more than 3,400 technology sales partners, agents, VARs and MSPs to Cox's business services, the companies said.

Tierpoint Adds Managed Microsoft Azure Services

Data center operator and IT services provider TierPoint this month announced it is now offering managed Microsoft Azure services nationally. TierPoint's latest service will include design, implementation, migration, and optimization of Microsoft's public cloud service. TierPoint also offers managed Office 365 services nationally.

TierPoint is now supporting Azure services out of its footprint of 39 data centers across 20 markets. The latest announcement comes after the St. Louis-based provider acquired Omaha, Neb.-based Cosentry, a regional cloud and managed service provider that previously offered managed Azure services.

DSCI Joins WTG Partner Community

Managed IT and telecommunications service provider DSCI Corporation is now working with World Telecom Group (WTG), a Malibu, Calif.-based master agent. Via the partnership, WTG will offer DSCI's connectivity, unified communications and managed IT services to its large channel of solution provider partners.

DSCI, Waltham, Mass., announced in March that it will merge with Los Angeles-based TelePacific Communications, a managed service provider. DSCI will continue to operate under its own name as a TelePacific company, and remains under the leadership of its senior management team.

MetTel joins Telarus' Partner Community

MetTel, a New York-based solution provider that specializes in voice, mobility, and managed IT services, is now partnering with master agent Telarus. Via the partnership, Telarus' agent partner community will have access to MetTel's suite of services, and MetTel will have access to a wider reach of channel partners, the companies said.

Specifically, Telarus partners can now take advantage of MetTel's SD-WAN solution, as well as its cross-carrier pooling capability -- a feature that lets businesses use the most appropriate network across every region, while receiving a consolidated bill and pooled data allowances.