Next Generation Voice

Last October at the Convergence Summit TalkTalk Business Managing Director Charles Bligh spoke to visitors about opportunities in the channel so Comms Business Magazine caught up with him again to talk specifically about his view of the coming year.

Not surprisingly given that TalkTalk Business launched their new SIP trunk offering at the Convergence Summit last October Charles Bligh says that 2016 will see his company focus on their data story. Already significant investments have been made in areas such as portals for provisioning and reporting. TalkTalk Business reported highly profitable revenues of £550m to investors in November and Bligh says he will be driving the business hard towards achieving £900m.

“We will be filling out our FTTC offering with a wholesale option and will offer a full suite of products including managed network services. Next Generation Network services such as carrier grade SIP and international SIP will play a key role and since the Summit launch we have seen a large increase in sign ups from the channel for our Next Generation voice services.”

Bligh says that resellers have four or five choices when it comes to changing their customers over to SIP from ISDN.

“The feedback on our launch of free SIP trunking has been very positive as it will enable resellers to make more margin as they go through the pain of ripping out ISDN.

Today more and more customers are asking for cloud or hybrid based services and the announcement from BT regarding the cessation of ISDN by 2025 is only following the market moving there anyway and BT does not want to service the handful of users that would remain on ISDN.

TalkTalk Business has deliberately followed a data strategy to get the underlying network, which is now massive, to take up Next Gen Voice. Our proposition in providing free SIP is to drive the overall value with attractive voice termination and great reseller margin through stimulating demand. There can be no doubt this will be disrupting in the market and our channel strategy will continue to be based on aggressive innovation such as this.”

Bligh says that TalkTalk Business is a channel centric business and that the channel is a fundamental plank of the business.

“When we introduced FTTC, Ethernet and SIP the channel was first to receive it.”

Ed Says… We spoke to Charles Bligh in the wake of the data breach that occurred at TalkTalk last October and because this was still working its way through the business as well as the media the subject was taken off the agenda. As it turned out the breach was far less widespread than had been initially reported in the headlines. By 6 November TalkTalk were able to confirm that the attack was limited to 156,959 customers of which 15,656 bank account numbers and sort codes stolen. Further, the company said none of the sensitive personal information on its own could be used to steal from their customers. Three months on and who is still talking about it? With regards to TalkTalk Business being a channel centric company, they most certainly are but the majority of their Broadband connectivity lies in the retail sector rather than in wholesale delivery.


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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine