CommPartners Buys Minutes Broker

Las Vegas-based carrier gambles that fellow minutes broker TPC Networks can kickstart its carrier services business

July 13, 2005

2 Min Read
CommPartners Buys Minutes Broker

Las Vegas-based CLEC CommPartners LLC is counting on a handful of well-connected folks to boost its carrier transport and termination business. This week, the company acquired New Jersey-based minutes and bandwidth broker TPC Networks for less than $5 million (see CommPartners Picks Vendors for VOIP Buildout).

CommPartners, a carrier's carrier, provides two major services to other service providers. It helps calling card providers, enterprises, CLECs, Cable MSOs, or VOIP carriers buy minutes and bandwidth on other carrier networks. It also provides carriers with hosted VOIP services (see IP PBX Market Heats Up).

New Jersey-based TPC Networks, which was incorporated in Nevada in January 2004, is also in the business of buying and selling voice minutes and network bandwidth between carriers. The company has seven employees with strong telecom relationships and that's about it. No Website. No marketing department. No network to terminate carrier traffic.

"They didn't find themselves needing to create a brand or build a Website," says Mark Peterson, CommPartners's VP of sales and marketing.

But the aquisition adds 15 new carrier customers to CommPartners, according to CEO Dave Clark. The deal's exact terms were not disclosed, but Clark says TPC came at a price of “less than $5 million” in cash and stock. Clark says the TPC routing and billing software systems and its four principal officers will become part of his company's new “Carrier Services” division.

CommPartners's carrier services business is now generating almost all of the company's revenues, Clark says, but its hosted VOIP services business is expected to contribute half of the company’s bottom line during 2006.

CommPartners's VOIP services business has 50 customers, 35 of which have launched private-labeled VOIP services to their customers, Clark says.

Like TPC, CommPartners is a young company; it began collecting revenue only in February. But Clark sees a growing market for both IP/PSTN inter-carrier termination services. “The reality in the carrier world today is that with so much traffic becoming IP-originated, there is an amazing demand for a network that will allow people to both originate in both TDM and IP, and terminate in both TDM and IP,” Clark says (see VOIP Peering: Incumbent Killer?).

Clark says CommPartners is using BroadSoft Inc. applications for its hosted IP Centrex and PBX services (see BroadSoft Joins VOIP IPO Rush and BroadSoft Claims WISP Success). The company leases the fiber optic networks of WilTelCommunications Group Inc. and WV Fiber to form the national IP backbone connecting its switching centers in Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York.

CommPartners now has CLEC certifications in 20 states, and expects to be certified in all 50 states by 2006 (see eLEC Offers Wholesale VOIP). The 70-person company was born in 2003 and has raised $28 million to date, primarily from two private equity firms, which Clark won't disclose.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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