The growth of IP telephony in the UK and the many benefits it offers smaller business are being hampered by fear, uncertainty and doubt put about by entrenched legacy suppliers with revenue streams to protect and ageing infrastructure to sweat. That’s the assertion of carrier Gamma Network Solutions at the opening of the IP Expo 2013 exhibition as it reveals it now has the largest share of the SIP-based IP telephony market in the UK…
The growth of IP telephony in the UK and the many benefits it offers smaller business are being hampered by fear, uncertainty and doubt put about by entrenched legacy suppliers with revenue streams to protect and ageing infrastructure to sweat. That’s the assertion of carrier Gamma Network Solutions at the opening of the IP Expo 2013 exhibition as it reveals it now has the largest share of the SIP-based IP telephony market in the UK.
Gamma, on stand D15 at the show, believes it is firms with fewer than 50 employees that are suffering the most. They are, says the company, being held back by costly ISDN-based telephone systems while their larger counterparts reap all the benefits of less expensive and more flexible IP telephony based on the SIP (session initiation protocol) standard.
“Small firms are spending at least £300 million a year more than they need to on telephony and its all going to prop up what is essentially a dying technology,” says Gamma’s Stephen Ashley-Brian, the company’s SIP trunking product manager. “Yet while the suppliers of ISDN all offer IP-based alternatives there seems to be little incentive for them to migrate customers away from what remains a lucrative product.”
Gamma’s own figures show that 86% of the country’s ISDN is used at sites with 30 or fewer channels, which are typically smaller businesses. Yet only 35% of latest generation SIP IP telephony is installed at such premises. The vast majority is with companies of between 100 and 500 employees.
Ashley-Brian believes unfounded fears over reliability, voice quality, security, potential savings and compatibility, being promulgated by some entrenched vendors, are to blame.
“It’s like the bad old days of IT when the same doubts were being voiced about the move from mainframe to desktop computing. We all know where that one finished up,” he says. “Telephony is going through a similar change and it’s time for the industry to accept it. SIP has so much more to offer businesses, particularly small businesses. It is more feature rich, more flexible, more economical and has a clear migration path to unified communications. It’s time ISDN was consigned to the history books.”
Gamma’s assertion comes as the company declares it now carries 8% of the UK’s total fixed business telephony traffic, switching more than 800 million minutes a month. At in excess of 160,000 channels the company also has the largest share of the country’s SIP IP telephony market.
At IP Expo Gamma will also be discussing SIP trunking, wide area Ethernet, next generation firewalls, disaster recovery for telephony, Horizon hosted telephony and its unique perspective on BYOD.
Gamma Network Solutions provides next generation voice, data and managed cloud communications services to public and private sector organisations throughout the UK. Established in 1995, it provides customers with complete solutions that allow them to communicate more efficiently with their customers, staff and business partners. As part of Gamma, the company has direct access to one of the largest next generation IP networks enabling it to provide excellent UK network coverage for voice and data services.
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