It is widely believed that VoIP will play a pivotal role in the future of telecommunications. Every month, VoIP’s position in the market becomes stronger, with deeper penetration into all kinds of businesses, driven by its flexibility and low prices.

As the technology becomes ever more mainstream, smart carriers are looking at methods for making money by delivering VoIP in attractive wholesale packages. Their clients, generally service providers, are searching for a competitive edge in a race to deliver VoIP at the lowest cost.

Carriers have three main variables to leverage in this arena: buying, building or renting. From a business perspective, investing millions in setting up a VoIP service is unnecessary, as telecoms operators have done most of the hard work already, offering complete VoIP operations and equipment. It is possible to start a wholesale VoIP enterprise with minimal outlay and make healthy profits.

What does an international VoIP wholesale provider need?

For service providers wanting to reach as many clients as possible, offering VoIP as a wholesale product could be a viable option. This way, VoIP can be sold to a wide range of customers, from domestic to commercial and even other service providers. Entering the wholesale VoIP market can create a business which benefits from being at the intersection of profits and control of the market. The main asset required is that a company has a solid database of potential customers.

As with any business decision, becoming a provider of wholesale VoIP services is not to be rushed into, however this can be a lucrative opportunity when tackled the right way. The market can be complex, so for anyone contemplating going into the VoIP business, it is important to understand all its different aspects, and to keep up with changes as they occur.

Segmentation and market shaping demand

The industry is evolving rapidly and the segmentation of demand by consumers can be complex. Demand can differ from that of the traditional telecoms product. Previously, telephony was the main platform, and different products were based around variables such as tariffs, distance and time of day. With VoIP, the main offering is more akin to a data application and while voice calling may be common to a variety of devices and applications, it is not the only feature.

VoIP technology can support a whole raft of communication methods, including video and voice conference, messaging and web contact, of which voice is a common feature. New products and changing demands from clients can have a significant effect on the evolution of the industry and could give rise to a value chain that is quite different from that upon which telecoms base business models at present. It is thought that the demands and expectations of customers will become a greater force in shaping telecoms in the future versus finance, technology or the networks themselves.

Finance versus innovation

Telecoms have traditionally required substantial infrastructure and the money needed to build it. Thus financing has played a significant role in shaping telecoms companies, with the significant investment needed influencing business models and the upper echelons of management. On occasions, management was more attuned to shareholder returns than overseeing viable long-term business strategies.

Telecoms are now entering a new phase, where development can take place without huge injections of capital for constructing networks. Innovation is expected to replace the need for financial backers with deep pockets.

This gives VoIP entrepreneurs a wide range of possibilities. Many businesses want turnkey solutions and a VoIP business can combine bespoke and flexible options. Business models include selling wholesale VoIP to both resellers and end users. A VoIP business can focus on personal service that matches solutions with the functionality required by companies in servicing their clients.

A VoIP business can deal with more than 2,000 carriers across the world to deliver all kinds of solutions to all kinds of businesses wherever they happen to be and whatever kind of customer base they have. It is possible to set up a portal that allows resellers to configure phones, carry out allocation of numbers and take care of billing. Many of these functions can be set up on a website wherein a variety of resources and information can be provided.

In the past, call clarity has been an issue with some VoIP services, however carriers can be selected for the quality of their networks. As the technology continues to evolve, the technical aspects are becoming ever more sophisticated. As customers now expect tailored solutions for services such as banking or insurance, these expectations will move into telecoms and drive the next generation of wholesale VoIP providers which are attuned to the market and delivering innovative products that meet and exceed their customers’ needs.