British Telecom Gets VoIP Serious

British Telecom is getting serious about VoIP. Under competitive pressure from upstarts, they are taking battle into the enemy camp. The proof of this comes in their decision to bring price parity in their BT Communicator (PC-client) and BT Broadband Talk (that uses an ATA) services. The British incumbent will also offer its BT Broadband Talk service to customers who don’t buy broadband access from BT.

This is a good move for the UK incumbent which is facing increasing competitive pressure from upstarts. The biggest threat to BT’s voice business comes from Tesco, the supermarket chain that has started to market its bargain-basement VoIP services to its customers. Wanadoo, another BT rival has signed-up 100,000 customers in less than 12-months it has offered a VoIP package. Dixons, VoIP Cheap, and scores of others have jumped into the VoIP arena, in a situation reminiscent of the early days of DSL. Nevertheless, BT’s efforts will dampen (and perhaps further increase marketing costs) of voice service providers such as Vonage.

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