Vitrifi launches at TMT World Congress
January 26, 2023
Vitrifi, a cloud-based software platform for fibre networks and alternative network providers (altnets), has officially announced its launch at TMT World Congress. Over the past 2 years, Vitrifi has built a brand-new ecosystem for the internet broadband sector. The ecosystem will provide the UK’s fibre networks the option of transitioning over to a wholesale open access approach – a primary investor requirement for altnets needing to increase market penetration. As potential consolidation looms, low penetration rates will not be enough to keep many altnets afloat.
Currently in the UK, there are over 100 altnet fibre providers running their own proprietary systems, which only allow consumers to buy directly from them. As a result, the majority of altnets cannot sell their fibre network access to other brands or service providers. As mature fibre markets have already discovered, institutional investors cannot sustain hundreds of regional fibre providers, as they lack the economies of scale that incumbent broadband providers possess.
Richard Jeffares, CEO at Vitrifi, explained: “The current scenario in UK fibre is not unlike the situation we witnessed in the UK energy sector a few years ago. Hundreds of small inexperienced energy firms were set up using legacy off-the-shelf platforms to sell direct to consumers. As we have seen, a simple change in energy wholesale prices suddenly tipped the balance and made most of them loss-making, which inevitably led to mass insolvency and regulator intervention.
“In the nascent UK fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) market, entrepreneurs have leveraged cheap financing and tapped into government funds to help deploy much-needed fibre infrastructure. Many need a decade or more to recoup this capital cost and become profit-making, but they underestimate the cost of servicing customers and building scalable reliable software. They are at risk of overbuilding in profitable areas. The most viable long-term solution for extracting value from fibre in the ground is to offer it wholesale to complement a consumer offering.”
Vitrifi has built the alternative to legacy telco ecosystems. Its scalable software allows fibre builders to present equivalent services to both retailers and brands, as well as direct to customers. By virtually joining fibre network providers together within one secure ecosystem, fibre providers will be able to benefit from these new economies of scale, rapidly expanding market presence and delivering new market leverage against incumbents.
Jeffares added: “The evident legacy issues within the telecommunications industry have been long in the making, and improving the future internet experience requires new thinking coupled with significant investment. During the pandemic, we have grown used to degraded broadband speeds, with the official metrics now revealing that the UK has fallen behind the rest of the OECD over the past decade. It is now clear that the UK requires new digital tools to remain competitive post-Brexit, and Vitrifi’s customer-centric approach is the best way to enable the next wave of internet service automation over the next 50 years.”