Feeds

Telcos ‘doomed’ claims ‘virtual comms provider’

Comms and Net access cheaper through brokers, reckons a broker

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Phone companies and ISPs seem to excel themselves in annoying their customers with poor service. But they may be cut out of the loop if new companies such as Unica, a London-based self-styled "virtual communications provider" succeed.

Unica acts as an intermediary, offering fixed voice, data, mobile and ASP services to business users. It is independent and therefore can change suppliers of airtime, products and other services according to who is doing the best deal at the moment. The customer deals only with Unica, who offers 24-7 support as well as a single monthly bill.

Noel Dunn, joint MD of the company - and a former banker who considers himself lucky not to have the "burden" of being in the industry for more than a year - reckons the telcos are doomed.

"Carrier brands are regarded by users with contempt but it is impossible for telcos to change to a customer focus, even the new entrants," he said.

Dunn claimed that players such as BT or MCIWorldCom push technologies according to their own agenda. Comms managers don't feel they are being offered cutting edge technologies where appropriate but they don't have time to check out different suppliers.

Unica's scheme is to do it for them (and it already does for customers such as the London Business School and Intelliquest). That said, it's questionable whether Unica can, as it promises, deliver a seamless service given that they have a raft of supplier relationships to manage. Some services, such as Web hosting, will not be that easy to move between suppliers.

Unica isn't the first company in the field. For a start, European Telecoms and Technology (formerly European Communications Services) has been offering a similar service to multinationals for the past two years. However, it doesn't offer mobile comms and is only now expanding into providing IT services. Elsewhere, Talk is a broker targeting the residential market for fixed voice calls with a least-cost routing service whereby it acts as the broker placing calls with the cheapest provider for that route and time of day.

And, of course, such companies are only one small stage removed from operations like Planet Talk that offer cut-price overseas calls.

These companies will enable us to escape arrogant treatment from today's phone companies, but will they themselves be any better? Time will tell. ®

Related Story

'Hi,thanks for calling NTL - we suck'

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.