Leading Conference Call Provider Powwownow Becomes a Telco

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With Ofcoms decision to remove the rebate payable to the telecoms supplier from 0870 numbers, Powwownow has decided to become a Telco in order to receive the entire rebate available and maintain their current revenue.

Powwownow has been providing high-quality, low-cost conference calling for over six years. They do what they do very well and have steadily grown year on year, now turning over £8 million per annum and servicing over 100,000 customers in 15 countries.

The original Powwownow business model was simple; using a 0870 number range and receiving a rebate for every call minute terminated on their conference equipment. The rebate was received directly from the supplying Telco, in this case, Colt and Easynet.

In February 2009 this revenue proved to be in jeopardy. Ofcom proposed to remove the rebate payable to the telecoms supplier from 0870 numbers with the aim of protecting consumers. This debate had been raging for several years but the date was now set, the proposal had become a reality.

So Powwownow had some decisions to make; if they did nothing they would lose 90% of their revenue with the only other revenue generating option from providing conference calls, without the complication of Premium Rate numbers, being the 0844 number range. However, with the return on 0844 numbers from the current suppliers being almost 50% less than the 0870 numbers, the decision was made to become a Telco. This means that Powwownow will receive the entire rebate available on a 0844 number and almost maintain their current revenues.

Mick Kemp, Technical Director comments: 'Becoming a Telco was a huge decision and probably the biggest change we have undertaken to date. It was, however essential for our growth and development. It also enables us to deliver the best quality calls possible whilst still keeping our conference call service free.'

This now puts Powwownow in the same league as British Telecom, Colt and Easynet. It also presents numerous other telephony related business opportunities, including a whole range of telecoms products such as broadband and landlines, taking Powwownow far beyond conference calling.

Powwownow was founded in 2004, offering customers low-cost conference calling facilities with the ethos of no booking, no billing, no fuss. (The customer does not need to book a conference room and never receives a bill from Powwownow, just the cost of a 0844 call added to their bill). Turnover for 2010 is expected to reach £8m. The company operates in 15 countries including the US and major European markets. Powwownow employs 32 people and is based in Richmond, London.


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Louise Rowlands
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