UK’s Voice Over IP Sector Sets Up Trade Association

Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony is growing rapidly in the UK, but has yet to reach mass market – currently six million people worldwide make VoIP calls, mostly in the USA and Japan. In years to come this could be the number of people making VoIP calls in Britain alone. Ofcom have reports and suggestions on how the sector should be managed – including setting aside a block of non-geographic numbers for VoIP services.

To promote the sector and effectively lobby Parliament, thirteen UK companies have grouped together to form the Internet Telephony Service Providers Association (ITSPA). The thirteen founder members are Call UK, ET Phones, Gossiptel,, Idesk, Imass Telecom, Intervivo, Magrathea, Mistral Internet, Speak2World, Telappliant, Telco Global and T-Strategy. It is not yet known if BT will be permitted to join the group.

The ITSPA hopes for a self-regulating sector, known for innovation: spokesman Kim Thesiger said “Internet Telephony providers now offer a serious alternative to the existing telephone companies, and we need to look at the levels of regulation and encouragement that this industry needs. This technology will revolutionise the way in which consumers and businesses make voice calls over the next few years ushering in far cheaper prices for phone calls and offering a wealth of new products and services that were only available to the biggest corporations until now.”

E-Consultancy’s Guide to VoIP

The state of VoIP worldwide

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?