KCOM Group Joins IP Voice Revolution

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KCOM Group has extended its managed network solutions (MNS) agreement with BT Wholesale to offer its customers next generation IP Voice Services.

BT Wholesale will provide KCOM Group with a bespoke IP Voice SIP trunking service. It is the first time that carrier-grade quality IP voice services backed by end-to-end service level agreements have been offered by BT Wholesale.

The deal supports KCOM Group’s focus to harness the power of presence based calling and unified communications to help deliver new ways of working for its customers. In the future, KCOM says IP Voice Services will enable them to provide a range of feature-rich, next generation IP voice based solutions that are resilient, flexible, readily scalable and lower cost.

This new service is an example of the benefits of the existing 10 year managed service agreement between KCOM Group and BT. The agreement, signed in June 2009, saw KCOM Group outsource the management of its network assets to BT Wholesale – a move that has extended KCOM Group’s network reach through access to BT’s 21CN national network.

The new IP voice services agreement is key for Kcom, the business focused brand within the KCOM Group, to design and deliver new propositions for its customers.

BT Wholesale will provide Kcom with a tailored high speed access solution for the hosted IP voice capability. This will be either Wholesale Ethernet or IP VPN depending on Kcom’s customer’s preference and current network infrastructure. The SIP trunking solution allows SMEs and enterprise customers to retain their own PBX with their voice calls being carried over IP rather than ISDN.

BT studies estimate that the number of hosted VoIP seats will grow more than sixfold from 2009 to 2.36 million seats in 2013 with SIP trunks predicted to grow tenfold to over half a million channels by the same date. BT Wholesale is helping to position Kcom to exploit this market opportunity.

Sally Fuller, Director of Strategic Propositions, Kcom said: “With over 10 years of experience deploying and managing converged IP based communications, Kcom is well placed to be one of the first major carriers to bring the benefits of IP voice access to its customers.

“The service will not only enable customers to access a more cost effective way to make and receive calls, but will improve how users communicate and collaborate. By combining Kcom’s mobile, unified communications and IP skills, users will be able to switch seamlessly between their deskphones, desktops and mobiles and make the best use of the latest collaboration tools to get their work done more effectively.”

Gavin Jones, Client Director, BT Wholesale, said: “Voice communications are undergoing a fundamental change. The advent of IP is blurring the boundaries between voice and data. Add to this the hunger for more integrated services; the rapid development in devices; new software generated voice applications – and a rich array of exciting voice applications are just around the corner.

“What we are seeing today is one of the primary benefits of a long-term managed services agreement. Not only is KCOM Group able to benefit from BT’s national reach and our ongoing investments in 21CN infrastructure but we are also helping Kcom to meet the growing demand from their business customers for the extra functionality and benefits that quality assured VoIP services can offer.”