Mobile operators enter the hosted IP Telephony market and hosted IP Telephony players enter the mobile market. With the lines between fixed and mobile communications blurring, the battle for the converged customer looking for a single contract, a single number, and a unified communications experience is heating up. Two cases in point:
April 2nd, Vodafone Netherlands announced it acquired TeleSpectrum, a hosted Telephony player since 2004. Interestingly, TeleSpectrum established a B2B Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on the Vodafone network in 2011 with its BroadMobile offering (including on-premise convergence with private GSM).
March 6th, Voiceworks, a hosted Telephony player since 2005, launched Voiceworks Mobile, a B2B Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) on the KPN network. Details are not available on their website yet, but the proposition will be available through Voiceworks resellers, creating additional mobile revenues for the channel.
The Dutch market is following in the footsteps of the UK. B2B VoIP players like Gamma have launched mobile virtual network infrastructure and are seeing good results and increased margins through offering next-generation services to the business market via the channel. Mobile operators like O2 claim success with “joined up business” an integrated fixed/mobile/IT offering. Mobile operators like Vodafone are offering complete solutions like Vodafone One Net.
We believe in converged cloud communications, it is part of our public cloud forecast and our view on the evolution of unified communications. We believe that integrated resellers will emerge that combine fixed, mobile, and IT into single solutions. We also believe that it will become easier for hosting providers to deliver integrated cloud services, including voice, to SMB customers enabled through the likes of Parallels. The battle for the converged customer has just begun.