Varying degrees of liberalisation in the national telecommunications markets have created major discrepancies in the price of international calls, according to a consultant?s report.
Stephen Young, author of the report from consultancy Ovum, said resellers and callback companies were prising open the European market and creating a dramatic change in international telecommunications. These parties buy telecommunications products and services at wholesale prices and sell them on to end users at cheaper rates.
Young said that callback operators could take advantage of cheap deals in countries that are more open to competition than Europe, like the US. ?This allows customers in non-liberalised markets to make international phone calls at prices that can be less than half that charged by their national carrier,? he said. This even affects the UK which, although liberalised, still has a national carrier with over 90 per cent market share.
Call-back was bringing competitive telecommunications to markets worldwide and taking business from under the noses of established carriers. Young said that the international telephony market was worth more than $78.5 billion during 1996.
?Resellers are more flexible than traditional telcos from whom they are grabbing market share. With their lower overheads and focused approach to the market they can provide customised service at lower prices,? Young said.
In countries where resale has not been liberalised, callback companies have entered the market and are eroding the market share of incumbent operators and forcing competition on to the agenda, Young added.
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