21C Telecom: 21st Century boy

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Three years ago, talk of convergence and unified communications in the mobile sector was just that; talk. Then, Ilkeston-based dealer 21C Telecom was a bread-and-butter mobile sales business, still called Phones Direct, with an ear to the ground and an eye on the future. 

But times have changed, for the wider industry and for 21C Telecom within it.

In a part of the market dominated by ‘old school’ salesmen, 21C Telecom managing director Richard Hunt (pictured) set his mind to transforming his dealership into a converged communications supplier.

He changed the business’ name to 21C Telecom in 2006, mindful of the emerging landscape. He added landline service provision to the mix, initially using third parties for both billing and direct debit facilities.

Those arrangements have become redundant as 21C Telecom has established its own billing engine and direct debit authority. The company is now working towards billing a million fixed line minutes a month, from a standing start.

Hunt reckons the company is primed to make its mark. “There will be a massive land grab for clients and client services. Mobile revenues are declining and network operators are reacting by pushing BlackBerry, mobile email and mobile broadband. The threat of mobile VoIP is huge – there’s no point dismissing it because it’s going to happen. The networks realise they must tap into a broader communications market,” he says.

Full article in Mobile News issue 460 (March 29, 2010).

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