Comms Council UK Summer Forum

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The ITSPA Summer Forum

sponsored by


16th July 2015

1pm - 5pm

6 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3LX

The Summer Forum, sponsored by Netaxis and held at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, immediately followed the AGM and was a well attended and informative event. The session began with a speech from the sponsors Netaxis, providing a brief introduction to the company and their fraud products and also some thoughts and comments on the ongoing merger and acquisition activity in the market.

Matt Townend from Cavell Group (formerly known as Illume Research) then provided his market update giving a summary of the growth experienced in the market over the past year. Matt explained that the number of UK hosted VoIP users was up 17.5% over the second half of 2014 and the number of SIP trunks had gown 20.1% over the same period. An overview of some of the key ongoing issues was then provided with the numbering fragmentation and building momentum around WebRTC featuring. A section of his presentation also focused on the increasing number of acquisitions that have taken place in the last six months across the industry and there was also a discussion around the looming PSTN switch off.

Pete Farmer then provided an overview of the revamped Quality Mark which will be launched shortly. It was explained that the Operations Group, led by David Cargill, has spent a considerable amount of time updating the Quality Mark over the past year to ensure that it remains valuable for members.

Tom Rutherford and Mike Lee from the Home Office gave a highly useful summary of the past twelve months' developments regarding communications data legislation. They also provided an overview of the recently announced Investigatory Powers Bill and its likely timescales, confirming that a Parliamentary Committee would perform a preliminary review prior to its publication at the beginning of 2016  and clarifying that the existing legislation (DRIPA and RIPA) may need to be extended due to their sunset clauses. A lively Q&A session then followed with some attendees highlighting existing loopholes.

The keynote speech was provided by Huw Rees, Vice President M&A Integrations and Globalization, titled 'The Challenges of Providing Global Enterprise Communications' . The presentation provided a summary of the key challenges when 'going global' and also explained 8x8 Inc's recent experiences when entering new markets.

The Summer Forum then concluded with a panel session, chaired by Trefor Davies, titled 'Mergers, acquisitions, reviews and convergence - the future direction of travel', featuring Huw Rees (8x8), Simon Burckhardt (Vonage UK), Guy Miller (tIPicall/TalkTalk) and Matt Townend (Cavell Group). The session covered a range of hot topics including the ongoing big mergers of BT/EE and O2/Three and also the likely asset swap between Virgin Media and Vodafone; the potential separation of BT from Openreach and switching off of PSTN.

A drinks and networking reception, sponsored by Magrathea, followed the Summer Forum in the nearby location of the Fable by Holborn Viaduct.


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