International Telecoms Week (ITW) is where all the interconnect carriers come to work out minutes exchange pricing and routes. Dialogic has had a consistent presence for over 15 years - not because we do any minutes exchange, but because we have a large customer base of carriers using our softswitches and SBCs that do. As such, just like MWC, this is a great place to meet with our customers and prospects.
But this is a challenging industry. Telegeography publishes definitive reports on the international long distance industry and the graph above tells an important part of the story. As seen from the chart above, growth rates used to be great but now they are negative. Even 10 years ago when the growth rate plummeted, it was a decent space to be. But coupled with the negative growth rate has also been an extreme drop in pricing per minute. Put them together, and this is a very challenging space to be. Skype and other OTT voice providers have been a boon to consumers but have been like a private Darth Vader for the wholesale providers.
As they say in Hollywood, the show goes on. First of all, there are still minutes to exchange. And money to go around. Just not like the good old days. But there is fight in this crowd. Some are working with the OTT providers to get OTT minutes to consumers. There is money to be had there. And some are working with the mobile providers – this is what IPX is about. Still, others have been working on adding value-added applications in addition to pure voice minutes.
As in many industries, evolution occurs. While it is doubtful the good ol’ days will ever return like they were, it is very probable this industry will continue in force, through natural evolution, for quite a while.