Effective communication evolved: An era of change for telecoms

By Brian Martin on February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

There’s been lots of talk about VoIP recently and how it has come of age in many ways. The infrastructure required to support voice calls (i.e the broadband landscape) has changed considerably in Ireland over the past 5 years in particular. There is no question that we still have a long way to go and the questions over the sale or privatisation of public infrastructure won’t go away anytime soon.

It’s not ideal that a piece of infrastructure which is vital to the economic success, and indeed the very viability, of the state is largely owned by external investors with no vested interest in Ireland Inc’s future. There are excellent arguments to be made around operating the fixed line network as a state-owned monopoly, managed by a private company (who are appointed by tender process) and this infrastructure provided to private enterprise in an open access way. This is a system which could foster innovation and real competition in the marketplace rather than the me-too offerings and marketing-led competition which prevails today.

That being said, we’ve gotten to the point where external shocks to the traditional telecoms landscape are producing results which will have far-reaching consequences for telecommunications (which it is quaintly known as for now!). Google Voice is creating quite a stir in the US by taking control of communications away from the traditional operators. This is a similar method to that employed by Blueface in providing a communications service rather than a phone service. AT&T have recommended that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) put the traditional PSTN out of it’s misery and move to an all-IP network. In some Northern European countries it will not be possible to buy an ISDN line by the end of 2010 – SIP trunks have become standard. And Verizon have just announced full support for Skype on their mobile service with unlimited data plans.

This maelstrom of activity is unprecedented in telecoms history. The entire value chain is moving inexorably away from call-based billing, and a future of free calls is looming very near indeed. So many people have questioned the value of the VoIP operator and whether companies like Blueface can prosper in a world where calls are free. In fact, Blueface have just launched the free calls for life promotion which sees customers paying €199 for a cordless phone and unlimited Irish landline calls for life. How is this sustainable? In Blueface we know where the industry is heading, and we understand exactly what is needed to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

The idea of paying for calls may be dying rapidly but what people want now is a means of managing their communications in a more effective and time-efficient manner. In other words, telecoms is becoming a service based business rather than a utility. So, in fact, we are moving from a commodotised industry with very little differentiation to a service based industry with distinct differentiation. Companies like Blueface are ideally positioned to benefit from this paradigm shift having embraced IP and web enablement many years ago.

So VoIP isn’t just about saving money – although its a very nice side benefit! It’s about communicating more effectively and efficiently. We in Blueface hope that you enjoy and benefit from the services we provide, and look forward to providing you with many more over the coming years. The emperor may or may not have any clothes, but n0 one is really looking for the emperor anymore!

Feargal

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