Innovative Broadband Solutions

Innovative Broadband Solutions

Lance Spencer, Product & Marketing Director, and Deborah Collins, Sales Director, of Tiscali Business Services

The two new offerings from Tiscali are ‘Voice Ready’ Broadband, designed specifically for the small to medium enterprise market, based on its well proven LLU and DataStream networks, and secondly a full unbundled service, which allows resellers to deliver the line, the voice and data services over one connection provided by Tiscali.

Lance Spencer, “The Tiscali Premium ‘Voice Ready’ Broadband product is

the first solution to offer guaranteed voice quality over broadband with bundled, enhanced care and Service Level Guarantees to support carrier-class voice services at competitive rates. These allow end-users to replace traditional PSTN and ISDN-based services. The ‘Voice Ready’ Premium Broadband product will support up to ten standard telephone channels with guarantees on packet loss, latency and jitter over a single broadband line.

“The launch of the Fully Unbundled products gives resellers the chance for the very first time to completely break away from the BT stranglehold on delivery of the infrastructure for Wholesale Line Rental and CPS-based services for smaller customers who only require a single line.”

The fully unbundled product, which is based on Tiscali equipment in BT exchanges, provides the line, full traditional voice services and an ADSLbased data connection in one product which Tiscali is calling ‘Wholesale Line, Voice and ADSL” (WLVA) and whilst the service is all set to launch this month – Tiscali will be using the Convergence Summit to recruit resellers. The company has been trialling the product with Hampshire-based reseller IZR.

Stephen Fletcher of IZR, “We have been a Tiscali partner for some three years and see voice and data convergence as being very important. The ability to deliver the combination of the line, traditional voice and the ADSL connection in one product is a key part – a stepping stone if you like. For resellers the product offers the advantage of a new cost structure which will provide greater margins by way of no ingress (first leg of the call) charges resulting in a typically low minutes cost from our carrier partner Gamma Telecom. The Tiscali WLVA product provides a distinct commercial advantage for us in a highly competitive market.”

Fletcher continues, “Tiscali WLVA is all about differentiating the delivery of services via a new cost proposition for their resellers. For end-userthe customer experience is exactly the same as with their traditionally delivered service. However, resellers will need to look at their back office systems and automation to make the best of this new proposition especially in the areas of provisioning and operational support, and here Tiscali have provided links.”

Lance Spencer, “For the larger reseller we have computer to computer systems (Application Programming Interface) available for automatic, seamless provision and support of the Tiscali WLVA product and for the smaller companies we have built a portal. We will also be seeking to appoint distributors to handle volume business from smaller channel partners.

“This is a major launch in the wholesale market. There are now over three million unbundled lines in the UK and with Tiscali being one of the biggest players, having unbundled over 500,000 lines and with over 100,000 wholesale lines unbundled so far, this product provides the next stage of Tiscali’s offerings to the channel. Of course we have been talking to resellers for some time about the imminent launch of the product and can report tremendous interest from companies that have a large number of smaller customers with just one or two lines. For resellers the Tiscali WLVA product will increase their bottom line figures. We see the Tiscali WLVA product as being as important in the industry as CPS and WLR were when those products were introduced to the channel.”

Whilst the Tiscali WLVA product provides one line for voice and data services, Tiscali’s other new product launch, Voice Ready Broadband, is geared towards larger customers and is ideally suited to the reseller selling into the heart of the SME space.

 

Andrew Dickinson of Griffin Internet, “There is a huge opportunity for resellers to replace ISDN circuits. Tiscali Voice Ready Broadband will now support up to 10 voice channels per broadband circuit – all with guaranteed carrier-class voice quality. With Tiscali able to deliver these services to approaching 90% of the business community through its own equipment in unbundled exchanges and its DataStream network beyond this, and with most manufacturers offering IPenabled PBX systems, the market for these services is now finally set to grow very rapidly.

Richard Bligh, Marketing Director at Gamma Telecom, “In everything we do Gamma aims to be market leader and SIP trunks, a flagship product for

Left to Right: Andrew Dickinson of Griffin Internet, Stephen Fletcher of IZR and Richard Bligh of Gamma Telecom

our company, allows the delivery of the voice channels over the broadband connection. Voice Ready Broadband and the ability to deliver well featured voice services over Tiscali’s Voice Ready Broadband, makes eminent sense.”

Dickinson is building a portfolio of new ‘Engineered Broadband’ products at Griffin around the Tiscali voice-ready proposition to support the Gamma offerings, whilst Bligh adds that his company are doing all the necessary interoperability testing with the PBX vendors and Stephen Fletcher confirms the ISDN replacement opportunity for the channel.

Richard Bligh is keen to put meat on the SIP trunk gravy when he states the fact that SIP trunks can be installed in typically 5 to 10 days – far quicker than ISDN trunks, “The resellers achieving the greatest success are those that possess a clear picture of who they are going to sell to and have developed a complete bundle of services ready for those customers. With regards to SIP trunks it is fair to say that we are still in the early adopter stage of the market but we are now clearly and rapidly approaching the ramp-up time. The fact that so many lines have now been unbundled means that economies of scale of alternatives to BT can come into play.”

Andrew Dickinson draws upon the experience of Griffin when he says that certain niche markets are really taking off.

“The underlying new cost structures of this alternative to BT are starting to drive a surge in, say, the small end retail market. However, it is essential that the suppliers provide a full service to the channel – how to sell voice-ready broadband – and not espouse technobabble. It is also important that the channel understands the service levels that come with voice ready broadband.”

Lance Spencer, “Fix times in failure situations are key as more applications are put on broadband lines. The Standard Service level for Broadband is a target of 40 hours to fix but the Tiscali voice-ready solution comes with the Enhanced Service level with a target repair time of 20 hours, and an average fix time of around 10 hours. Is that good enough? Well maybe not when compared to the five hours for PSTN but the good news is that Tiscali is continuing to work with the industry and its suppliers and is expecting to offer significantly improved levels in early 2008.

Dickinson sums up the potential for voice-ready broadband at the small end of the market when he says that to make the best of this opportunity for smaller users we must ensure that services are combined together to make the service productive and cost-effective for the end–user

“Convergence over the same pipe requires more intelligence at the edge of the network and here we provide a managed wrap to achieve this. If you look at potential users, say a pub for example, then they need a line for voice, chip & pin, EPOS systems and fax. Installing one broadband circuit will save them money and provide more features. There are currently more than one million chip & pin lines on analogue circuits that need changing out over the next few years and Voice Ready Broadband from Tiscali will be a great solution. In addition, for retailers and businesses such as this, the fact that Voice Ready Broadband will significantly reduce the transaction times and these ‘real-time’ transactions should reduce the opportunities for fraud.”

Deborah Collins sees an education issue for the channel, “Suppliers generally talk ‘tech speak’ and often imply many applications are a black art. Too often conversations centre on the technology rather than the delivery of working solutions so we need to ensure that we get the right messages across. In this case the message is that the SME base is still predominantly served by BT, both directly and indirectly, and hence there is a tremendous opportunity. The channel needs to see the margin opportunity in these services which will allow them to go to market and successfully gain new customers and retain existing clients.

 

Five Key Facts:

1. Shared LLU is where the line provision stays with the existing supplier and a third party alternative operator provides services on top. Tiscali has unbundled 800 exchanges to date – a figure set to reach 1000 by the end of 2008.

2. Fully unbundling the local loop means that the line, data and voice services are all provided by the unbundling company. Tiscali is the only company at present to offer both shared LLU and fully unbundled services.

3. Of BT’s 5000+ exchanges it is generally agreed only around 1000 to 1200 are deemed to be worth unbundling as beyond 1000 the number of customers they serve drops of sharply. The top 1200 exchanges serve around 70% of the market.

4. Tiscali ‘Voice Ready’ Broadband provides up to 10 voice channels over one circuit – all with carrier-grade voice quality.

5. SIP trunks provide a great opportunity for users to use any geographical number, regardless of their actual geographic location.

 
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