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What is WLR3?


21st March 2013

Historically line rental solutions and Least Cost Routing or Carrier Pre Select (CPS) as it’s known today have always come from BT. In order to fully understand the impact WLR3 has had on the industry lets first have a look at how BT is structured as a business.

In 2005 UK communications regulator OFCOM decreed that BT must provide “Equivalence” to all other companies that wanted to offer fixed line services to customers in the UK. At that time it was felt that BT operating units like BT Retail had an unfair advantage over the Independent sector selling BT services. In addition to this BT Retail, for example, had access to the wholesale network as well, including orders which were placed by companies like Mint Network who had customers that did not want to deal with BT Retail. To put things into context can you imagine how you would feel if your biggest competitor had access to orders for your customers?

In response to this OFCOM and BT agreed that BT would form a separate division called Openreach in order to provide a “level playing field” to Independent Telecommunications Providers like Mint Network. This was a major milestone as it enabled us to trade BT’s Service offering on equal terms as BT Retail thus providing “equivalence”. BT Retail lost access to Openreach database and WLR3 therefore became the standard for independent service providers to connect to Openreach. So what does this mean to the end user?

Firstly, it means that you can purchase the same service from us knowing that the service is provided by Openreach which controls, manages and operates the network. We have the advantage of being able to offer different pricing plans and higher service levels at a lower cost because our running costs are substantially lower than those of large conglomerates like BT Retail who employ thousands of employees.

Therefore you can now order a service from us with our own branding and flexible pricing and service packages. It also means that we can interface directly with Openreach just like BT Retail so if you are considering moving from BT you can be assured that you are staying on the same network, the only difference being that you will be billed by us. We will even tell the incumbent via Openreach that your service provider will change so you do not have to do anything. The WLR3 online portal provides us direct access to Openreach portal where we can view engineer’s calendars and workloads therefore giving us greater control over an installation or repair. Bypassing the large call centres which are typical for large corporates and going through the endless options of pressing 1 for Billing, 2 for Faults etc.

There is no doubt that Openreach’s WLR3 portal has revolutionised the industry. It has enhanced the customers experience and improved the processes for communication. The net effect is that our customers are now better off and can enjoy more competitive and flexible tariffs and service plans. Small and medium size companies especially have a far greater choice and can enjoy stability and consistency offered by companies like Mint Network whilst BT Retail have continued to shift their focus to serving the FTSE Top 500 companies.

For more information regarding WLR3 have a browse through the following link:

http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/wlr3/wlr3.do

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