European VoIP Summit

On the 1st of March, the Cavell Group hosted the second European VoIP Summit, where over 200 attendees from over 60 VoIP service providers gathered in central London to address the opportunities and challenges the industry is facing and explore what to expect from the future of voice communications. David Dungay went along to find out what the industry had to say.

Matt Townend, Director at Cavell Group, commented on his blog about the event, “Although much of the day was focused around how the industry is currently operating, a lot of focus was put on what the future of VoIP and SIP Trunking will look like. The industry believes a ‘disruptor’ might appear, like messaging has seen with WhatsApp, which will enter the market and take significant market share.”

During the seminar ‘European PSTN Switch Off – What opportunities does this drive?’ there was much debate as to the date BT has chosen, 2025, to finally flick the switch on the PSTN network. Much of Europe is going through a similar process but in a much shorter time frame. Still nine years away, questions still remain around the impact on innovation in the UK.

One of the panellists in the seminar, Charles Bligh, MD of TalkTalk Business, said “We would have preferred BT to be a bit punchier with the date, we feel an earlier date would have stimulated the Channel. BT has done this so they don’t end up with stranded assets when the time comes.”

On being successful in this space Campbell Williams, Group Strategy & Marketing Director at 6 Degrees, commented “Resellers need to understand the segment and their customers. One-size doesn’t fit all and to be successful you need expertise in cloud and on-premise to be able to take customers on their migration journey.”

On the day Townend commented, “A very interesting discussion around WebRTC and Applications with viewpoints from Vendors, Service Providers and developers showed that it might not be the Service Providers developing the applications themselves, but instead they will allow developers to work with them to provide vertical solutions for their customers. WebRTC looks like it is starting to become that enabler for services in the future as communications move onto the web and away from the traditional end-point. Whether Service Providers will be able to charge for minutes in the future was again a hot discussion point.”

“We had a very interesting talk from Matthew McDermott and Mark Swarbrick on the state of regulation across Europe, followed by Cavell’s newest partner Q Advisors who gave a background on the M&A work they have been doing around the world.”

The event concluded with closing remarks from Townend and networking drinks. The initial aim of bringing VoIP service providers together and create an opportunity to discuss current and future market aspects in a friendly and open networking environment was achieved. It can be all too easy to operate within a bubble in this market and not look up to see what others are doing. This event gave great context of the UK market within the bigger European environment.

Ed Says Another successful event from Cavell Group! Matt Townend continues to attract high calibre speakers in another highly informative day. The takeaways for the Channel were simple, although nine years may seem like a long way off it is worth investigating your migration paths for your customers now. During the conference Townend comment he would guess that “Sometime between 2018 and 2019, provisioning ISDN will be a non-argument. By this point SIP will represent between 70-80% of the market.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine