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BT Unthreatened By Free VoIP Tech

Posted: 30th Nov, 2004 By: MarkJ
BT has stated that it perceives free Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services not as a threat, but an opportunity. The operator may have learnt a lesson from the late 90's, when many feel it held back ADSL in order to hold onto ISDN users:

BT, like other telcos, faces a loss of revenue if free VoIP services such as Skype take off. According to James Enck, European Telecom analyst/global telecom strategist at Daiwa Securities Investment Bank, Skype has an annual growth rate of 500 percent in terms of on-Net minutes, and 5 percent of broadband connections in the UK are using the service. "It's practically a household name," said Enck.

"BT is the incumbent operator and as such we have to defend our traditional market, but we can do that by aggressive and creative pricing," said Blake. BT, he said, has reduced prices, and is establishing longer-term relationships with its partners and customers. "We will have to sacrifice some higher-volume services", he said, "and there will be some cannibalisation, but we're about ready."

"We are not afraid of the technology," Blake told the audience at the Forum. "VoIP is an application and if you can get that working right then other applications on the network become easier to deliver. Once you have broadband infrastructure the technology becomes easier to deliver. Internet telephony has been around for four years, but we were doing it over dial-up connections, and you just can't get the quality on a 56kbps call."


Typically developing VoIP services is one thing, getting them into the home is quite another. More @ ZDNet.
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