At the ITSPA Summer Forum, held yesterday at Polycom’s City offices there was a panel of VoIP wholesalers debating the health of the market. The panel consisted of representatives from BT, Gamma, X-Connect, Magrathea and Timico (ie moi).
The market it turns out is very healthy with everyone reporting growth in VoIP minutes over and above old fashioned TDM minutes. We also debated number porting – a large subject in its own right that has already featured on this blog but is going to be a lot more visible over the next few months.
One subject that caught me by surprise is the behaviour of mobile operators. They have a mandate to gradually reduce their prices but in doing this are indulging in some sharp practices. Whilst their pricing trend is downwards overall they are creating huge swings in individual route charges.
For example one month an operator might hike his prices up by 100% for some destinations at peak time and make the weekends and off peak very cheap. The following month they will reverse this. This makes it very difficult for their service provider customers to keep on top of margins and leads to loss making scenarios. The operators of course are making a killing whilst notionally following the Ofcom rules on price erosion because on average the prices are still going down.