Perlico adds to flat-rate options

27 Jun 2003

Perlico Communications, a provider of carrier pre-selection (CPS) telephony services, has announced a flat-rate internet service, aimed mainly at small to medium enterprises. Due for launch in July, the service is expected to cost less than €25 per month for 180 hours online.

The Dublin-based company is also offering a scaled-down product for less frequent internet users, priced at under €10 for 30 hours per month. However the company does not intend to finalise its pricing arrangements until the end of July. According to Iain MacDonald, managing director of Perlico Communications, the company will monitor what its competitors are offering and adjust its prices accordingly. “It will allow us to provide the best possible price, but we do expect it will be close to the €25 mark.”

To date, Perlico has operated primarily as a business telecoms provider and is a designated ‘other licenced operator’ (OLO). It works on a CPS basis, meaning that it can provide services without having to own the actual telecoms line to a customer’s home or business premises. Perlico’s business model is based on acquiring monthly telecoms traffic and holding ‘reverse auctions’ to telecoms carriers on a monthly basis in order to get the best value calls. The company has several hundred telephony customers based throughout Ireland.

The internet package is a add-on to its voice service, MacDonald explained. It operates on a slightly different basis to the telecoms service however, as customers will dial a 198x number for flat-rate access. ‘It’s bundled as part of an overall package, so it will be significantly less expensive than the primary operators,” he claimed.

MacDonald added that by marketing the flat-rate service to its existing user base, Perlico will be able to keep its costs down. “Because we’re already servicing those customers, adding another product doesn’t add greatly to our overheads. We would have a low cost of acquisition of customers.”

Today is the designated launch date for flat-rate internet access in Ireland; so far, UTV Internet and Esat BT have launched services, with others expected to follow. Although Eircom, as the former monopoly carrier, was obliged to make wholesale flat-rate services available to other operators on this date, the company has yet to reveal its hand with a retail offering for business and consumer users.

By Gordon Smith