Telco to create 30 jobs

15 Sep 2004

Telecoms provider Perlico has said it will create an additional 30 jobs over the next six months, bringing employment to 50.

The company, which officially launches its range of services on the Irish market today, claims to be the only provider apart from Eircom and Esat BT that can provide voice, single billing, broadband DSL and internet dial-up to both residential and corporate customers.

Perlico, which has recently moved into a new 4,000 sq ft headquarters in Sandyford Business Park, plans to spend in the region of €1m on a nationwide marketing campaign to target every household in the country as well as the corporate and SME business sectors.

“We guarantee our customers that we are less expensive than Eircom and in some cases up to 91pc cheaper,” commented Iain MacDonald, managing director, Perlico. “We are committed to offering cheaper telephone and internet costs to telecom users combined with great customer service.”

He claimed that Irish business and residential consumers were “becoming increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy of Eircom and the outrageously high prices they are being charged.

“Our pricing policy is straightforward, simple to understand and includes no hidden charges – the customer can be guaranteed to get low prices without having to worry about the small print.”

He said that residential and business customers would benefit not only from lower costs and better customer service but also the convenience of single billing for line rental, telephone calls as well as dial-up internet and broadband DSL.

Commenting on the regulatory environment, the Perlico boss said that the recent price agreed between Eircom and the OCMmission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) for wholesale line rental is too high. “At a price of €17.92 for Wholesale Line Rental the service is simply not commercially viable for alternative operators to compete. It is widely acknowledged that Irish telecom users continue to pay line rental charges that are amongst the highest in Europe.

“ComReg needs to be given sufficient power to facilitate proper competition. With the constant threat of legal action, ComReg has been repeatedly bullied and threatened by Eircom to the detriment of the Irish consumer.”

He added: “We are one of only two providers other than Eircom to offer DSL as a service to both residential and corporate customers but the current cost to us for providing the service to customers over the Eircom network means that we cannot commercially justify investing in marketing it.

“We have presented to ComReg on this matter and with their recent designation that Eircom is dominant in the market for wholesale broadband access, we are hopeful that the price for wholesale broadband access to the Eircom network will be promptly reduced to the benefit of the consumer.”

Perlico’s broadband DSL service is available to residential customers at €34.95 (including Vat) per month, compared with €38.95 for the equivalent service from Eircom. Perlico’s business rate for broadband is €45 per month (ex Vat) for unlimited users across a company’s computer network. In addition, the company claims to offer the country’s cheapest dial-up internet access at 1 cent per minute at evening/weekends and 3.8 cent during the day.

Perlico was formed in 2001 by Iain MacDonald, who was a significant investor in Irish call centre Solar Marketing before it was sold to US company IMS. Perlico’s board of directors and private investors include Dr Jim Mountjoy, co-founder of software firm Euristix. Perlico’s chairman is Malcolm MacDonald, former senior manager of Corporate Finance at ICC Bank. Other directors include Roger Bannon of chartered accountants Bannon & Co and former financial director of Third Force (formerly RTG) where he headed up the flotation process.

By Brian Skelly