The Friday Interview: Brendan Moran, MinuteBuyer

23 Jun 2006

Brendan Moran (pictured) is managing director of telecoms brokerage MinuteBuyer.

You have argued that Irish businesses that invest in existing voice over IP (VoIP) may have to wait three or four years before realising a return due to the unresolved local loop unbundling (LLU) issue.

Business VoIP will not work like Skype for consumers. There will always be some element of cost involved. VoIP for business is a different proposition. VoIP will still be the love child of equipment vendors. It is coming, but systems being sold at present are a combination of the old and the new. The systems work with existing PSTN and are futureproofed to migrate to VoIP when it fully happens. Businesses are buying VoIP-enabled PBX systems, but it is not a pure solution. The benefit of VoIP will come when you have full LLU, or non-contended DSL for the cost of an ordinary phone line.

What is your view on mobile call costs for Irish businesses?

Businesses in Ireland are still paying top whack on mobile-to-mobile calls. In terms of telecoms expenditure by businesses, mobile calls represent only 17pc of call volumes yet 40pc of the overall cost. As a result, lots of companies are discouraging calls to mobile. It is three times more expensive to ring an Irish mobile than it is to ring Australia.

What difference do you think decentralisation will make in terms of regional telecoms infrastructure?

Decentralisation could have been the perfect opportunity to resolve the LLU crisis. Infrastructure could have been pushed at particular regions and towns. Decentralisation brings infrastructure, jobs and prosperity into an area. The debate shouldn’t be about reluctant civil servants. If people in regional towns due to receive decentralisation knew what was going to come on the back of it the debate might have turned out differently.

By John Kennedy

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