Partner bonding

Partner bonding

Mike Gardner
Mike Gardner

Comms Business Magazine talks to Mike Gardner, founder and Managing Director of Cheshire-based X2 Communications about his company, their products, services and channel opportunities.

X2 Communications was established in 2004 by Mike Gardner a channel veteran with a background in ITC sector recruitment and sales management with channel players such as Pipex, Opal and daisy company CRC.

Mike Gardner, “Essentially X2 Communications is a virtual ISP. We take DSL tails from our key suppliers – Viatel, 186k and Fused Group, then add real value for our channel partners. Significantly, we have a strong set of managed services applications for bonded DSL. Our relationship with Viatel for example, where we also rent rack space in their data centres, is such that we can offer our partners their own white label Control Panel for provisioning of ADSL and SDSL as well as support. We are the first Viatel reseller to be able to do this.”

Many suppliers profess to add value for their channel partners, what can X2 offer?

“We offer a range of value-added services but the most unique is our bonded DSL services. Here we have two very innovative and highly flexible offerings sold under our ADSL4 brand.

“The first is a load balancing bonded service which provides aggregated upload speeds and automatic failover for two or more circuits. For this solution X2 provides the DSL, Router and the bonding CPE hardware and hands off a single Ethernet connection to the user’s network.


“The hardware can accept up to 32 circuits but typically users opt for between two and eight circuits. This solution is ideally suited for a number of applications; VoIP, Video, CCTV and data where we can designate circuits for each of the services but fall back to just one DSL should all the others fail. We also provide QoS for VoIP prioritisation.

“Our second bonding service is new to the UK and again is suitable for most applications especially where there is a high bandwidth demand for data services.

“Here we can bond together a range of connectivity solutions – ADSL, SDLS and 3G – and from any mix of suppliers on the same single CPE solution. We aggregate the speeds and provide the user with a single IP address so that if circuits were lost the client would still have that single static IP address and keep on working. This is a chassis-based solution where we can install three or six interfaces in each chassis.

“We supply this solution as a managed service and the xDSL/3G can be from any supplier; it’s a very powerful and flexible solution that can be configured to suit the user need. With the 3G interface included it is highly resilient for the user as it takes a failure at the BT exchange out of the loop.”



Gardner sees his products not just sitting in the space between DSL and leased lines but also highly applicable in business continuity.

“There are a wide range of applications where our bonded products can be used. Starting with VoIP where we can provide session management as well as increased bandwidth for voice packets. They are highly suitable for terminal services and VPNs where we provide rules-based bonding with resilience built in.

“Bandwidth hungry applications such as video conferencing and CCTV are also perfect applications and in the business centre market we can provide the management company with a solution that prevents any one single client ‘hogging’ bandwidth with session balancing and prioritisation features.

“For resellers our products represent a far cheaper solution for their customers than dedicated leased lines as well as built-in resilience and like many value-add products and services it makes their customers more sticky.

“The products are available as a CAPEX or managed service and we have two channel schemes. Firstly a Dealer programme where the customer signs on an X2 or co-branded order form and we then provision, commission, provide user support and bill the user with the Dealer getting commission for the life of the contract.

“We also have a Reseller programme where we still pre-configure the solutions but ship to the Reseller who installs and bills the user. We continue to manage the service for the user and configure the user firewalls and tunnels. The reseller can CAPEX the solution from X2 and then either provide the user a CAPEX or managed service solution.

“The channel opportunity here is huge; we have for example just signed a 47-site supply contract with one of our channel partners.”

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