By Simon Woodhead
Unless you’ve been abroad or are a consumer (but that’s a whole other rant) you’ll be aware of PSTN switch off. For many it has been a sales opportunity but this post is about something else: buy-side and interconnects.
If you are one of the 450-odd Range Holders who have numbers allocated by Ofcom, you’ll have them hosted somewhere and may even be paying to do so. You might instead be one of the remaining operators with TDM into BT. If you are hosted on a network still relying on TDM, or indeed are a network relying on TDM, you need to act quickly.
From April 2025 the deemed ‘point of interconnection’ on the BT network will move from a designated TDM switch to IP. IP will be the considered default transport. This means those who are reliant on TDM are, by our estimation, going to get absolutely shafted. How?
- If the point of interconnection is IP and BT are mediating IP to/from TDM they will charge for that. They are very good at charging.
- We expect the historic protections of the Standard Interconnect Agreement to at best diminish. Why does a legacy technology that the majority of the market are not using, and BT is providing as a convenience now, need to be price-controlled?
- BT offers a managed IP service – IPeX Type A – which they/you can buy at ratecard. Why should they forgo the revenue in 1 and 2 to give you/your host a special price?
We saw this coming which is why we obsessed over getting in the Secret Club for a decade or more. We did it in 2020, migrating entirely to IP with BT whilst retaining our TDM economics. This is very different to being a Type A reseller; we view Simwood and our peers as feature rich cost-effective alternatives to Type A so being a reseller to a reseller was unconscionable for us. Of course, we add way more value than simply a path to BT too – we’re directly interconnected with anyone else who is anyone too for one thing, improving performance, quality and economics for our customers.
If you have a TDM dependency (directly, or via one of the wholesalers out there that still do), there is opportunity to get your ranges migrated to a modern network before April 2025 and as we consider doing so to be in the public interest, we’re prepared to do so for free or, if you’re paying, we’ll likely match or beat terms and preserve your revenue share*. If you have ranges and your provider is still banging on about TDM, get in touch. If you don’t have ranges and your provider is still banging on about TDM, you might want to get in touch too – they are the proverbial Turkey boasting about how Christmas has gone. Christmas is in April 2025 so act now.
* We know one of the legacy networks does a lot of premium rate business. We don’t touch that, save for one nearly 30-year relationship, sorry.