TalkTalk Business MD Charles Bligh reveals how half-price broadband, business 4G and VoIP will allow it to better serve the enterprise market
TalkTalk Business plans to offer 4G and converged telecoms products to customers in 2015 as it steps up its battle to secure more of the B2B market.
The company re-launched its enterprise broadband offerings late last year, claiming that BT was using its dominant position in the market to overcharge businesses who could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching to TalkTalk.
‘Uncompetitive’ business market
“At the moment it’s a dysfunctional market. For business broadband, BT has a 50-60 percent market share,” TalkTalk Business managing director Charles Bligh told TechWeekEurope. “Unlike the consumer market where there’s four largely the same incumbents, there’s one large player who is charging a huge amount of money. We are probably the second biggest ISP with less than 10 percent market share.”
Research conducted by TalkTalk suggests the 90 percent of SMBs believe broadband will be fundamental to their success in 2015 and the company hopes it can take advantage of tighter budgets following Christmas excesses with a half price 12 month broadband offer.
For £5.20 a month for six months, and £10.40 thereafter, as well as £14.50 line rental, customers receive unlimited broadband and landline calls as well as unlimited calls to mobiles.
“We are the only ones who do unlimited mobile [calls],” added Bligh.
Mobile and converged
TalkTalk Business has plans to offer ‘triple-play’ packages later this year, mimicking what TalkTalk already offers to consumers. A new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement has been inked with O2, allowing TalkTalk to offer what it calls an “inside-out” MVNO.
Users will be able to access O2’s 4G network when out and about, but femtocells installed in TalkTalk’s routers will ensure superior coverage and faster speeds indoors and reduce the company’s operating costs.
“The cost for us is dramatically lower,” said Bligh. “That’s a really big thing for us, both in the consumer market and in B2B.”
He said more would be revealed later this year, adding that TalkTalk also plans to tap into growing demand for converged communications.
“That is a market that is ripe for disruption,” he explained, claiming that services like VoIP were too expensive and as a result, adoption was slower in the UK than in the US.
Super connected cities
Bligh has previously given his support to the government’s super connected cities voucher scheme, which allows SMBs to apply for grants of up to £3,000 for the installation of superfast broadband in 22 cities, and still thinks the project is a “good thing” now it has been extended – even if it might be the most cost-effective way of boosting fibre adoption.
“It’s been quite successful for us,” he said. “Over the past few months we’ve seen our fibre uptake improve noticeably, not massive, but noticeably. The reason is because it’s simpler and we do all the work.
“We’re more positive on it but when [the government has] a broad, rushed programme, it’s not efficient in every case.”
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