IP telephony service to offer lower cost calls

15 Apr 2005

Colt Telecom has launched a managed internet protocol (IP) telephony service for businesses in Ireland, offering flat-rate pricing for phone calls at what it claims are greatly reduced costs, saving customers an estimated 20pc on their current phone bills.

With the new service, all local and national calls as well as international calls to countries on the Colt network are charged at a monthly per-user fee of €24.50. The charge does not include calls to mobile numbers.

The announcement is part of a Europe-wide launch. Other countries on Colt’s network are Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.

According to Colt, businesses do not have to purchase, house or maintain a PBX phone system in order to use the service. All functions are provided by the Colt network and delivered over the customer’s local area network. Phone handsets and features are covered by an additional flat rate per-user, per-month fee of €20. Colt claimed that combining these two elements can reduce total cost of ownership by an estimated 20pc.

Gary Keogh, managing director of Colt Telecom Ireland, claimed the company was the first operator in Ireland to provide a managed IP voice service to businesses. “Our customers will not only benefit through cost savings but also through access to Colt’s extensive European network that will remove the requirement for Irish businesses to maintain multi-vendor relationships,” he said.

According to a forecast from the research firm Ovum, the market for network-based IP telephony solutions in Europe will be worth US$1.4bn by 2008. Chris Lewis, head of enterprise practice at Ovum, said: “Enterprise IP telephony solutions are now moving into a new growth phase as we start to see mainstream adoption in many parts of Europe. Network-based IP telephony solutions, especially those offering innovative features such as flat-rate pricing, provide an attractive and cost-effective alternative to a business owning and managing its own equipment and will further add to market growth.”

By Gordon Smith