Coms plc, an internet telephony service provider, today acquires VoIP provider Exchange XT Limited to accelerate revenues, enhance its technology platform and strengthen its management team. This deal underlines Com’s strategy to consolidate the fragmented web telephony sector in the UK.
ExchangeXT provides VoIP services through its Superline and Call Union consumer brands as well as through distributors such as wireless internet provider, So Broadband. The merger will enable the company to offer combined telecom and VoIP services and open new distribution opportunities with high street retailers.
Coms will now be able to transfer customers’ existing telephone numbers and issue new unique numbers across all UK area codes. This will further drive customer uptake in the UK, where only three per cent of UK consumers are taking daily advantage of low-cost web based calls, currently the lowest rate of VoIP usage in Europe according to Ofcom.
The acquistion of ExchangeXT’s Ericsson telecom switch will also enable Coms to create advanced web applications and services. This is another benefit of internet telephony for end users as voice calling becomes a key part of the advanced content-driven applications available via “Web 2.0”.
David Cargill, CTO of ExchangeXT, joins the Board of Coms and assumes responsibility for defining and delivering the Company’s VoIP product road map including video, pay-per-call advertising and integrated Wi-Fi mobile phone services. These “dual-mode” options means users can use internet calling away from the home, as the dual service phone switches over to a wireless connection where possible.
“The time to consolidate the web telephony sector is now,” says Richard Bennett, Corporate Development Officer at Coms. “Voice is no longer a stand alone telecoms service, but an integrated feature of the internet that will monetise Web 2.0 applications.”
Jason Drummond, Executive Chairman, commented: “Bringing the two companies together will provide us with a leap forward in our business plan. David Cargill has an excellent track record of developing VoIP services, and will implement our technology roadmap, bringing low-cost internet telephony services to a mainstream audience”.
Coms paid a consideration of £468,253 to acquire ExchangeXT and subsidiary companies. The 2005 audited accounts of ExchangeXT show a consolidated income of £911,593 and a gross profit of £406,092.