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Carl Graham, Product Specialist

Telecoms 101 – a complete overview of the channel


Carl Graham
November 9, 2023

In this blog we learn about how the telecoms industry works, what the current trends are, and how managed service providers (MSPs) and IT resellers can use brilliant, honest customer service as a way to stand out.

Meet Carl Graham, our Product Specialist. With over 20 years in the telecoms industry, Carl knows a thing or two about how to win in this space.

Carl’s blog is helpful for newbies to telecoms, plus MSPs and pure IT resellers who are stepping into the telecoms space for the first time.

Telecoms today is a world away from the industry I joined over 20 years ago.

I’ve seen a huge amount of change, and all of that has been driven by human behaviour; the way we connect and communicate is constantly evolving.

The human aspect and the constant pursuit of improvement are the two big reasons why I love working in this space.

Telecoms has always been about brilliant, innovative technology, but back when I first joined, faxes, landlines and Blackberry phones were cutting edge.

I remember the days of simple ADSL dial-up connections and Business Highway, having to manually raise orders on the old Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) interface and requesting exchange and cluster details by emailing Openreach.

Then everything moved online; social media switched from a novelty to a way of life and in the last few years, video calls became the norm.

These days, full fibre connectivity is as essential as having the lights on. Most businesses need a fast and reliable internet connection because so much of our communication takes place online.

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Understanding and meeting your customers’ needs is my simple secret to winning in telecoms.

Honesty and transparency go a long way. If certain solutions won’t work, be upfront with your customer; don’t allow your sales teams to sell for the sake of selling.

Simple advice but having your customers’ backs and doing right by them is a surefire way to stand out.

I was recently chatting with a friend who’d been approached by a telecoms company to have an all-singing, all-dancing, hosted solution with mobile and desktop applications.

His service provider told him that, beyond doubt, this was the right solution for him.

As well as being promised a perfect product, he was put under pressure to move fast, because of Openreach’s WLR and PSTN switch-off.

My friend lives in a remote village and gets speeds of up to 1Mbps ADSL, plus he struggles with very poor mobile signal.

I advised him that full fibre was rolling out in his local area and to wait until that was ready, otherwise, he’d be paying for a solution that wouldn’t work.

He’s since had full fibre delivered and now has a fully hosted solution without the hassle of speed and poor-quality calls that you’d get with low-grade ADSL.

It’s a shame that someone was willing to sell him a half-baked solution – that’s not how you win long-term in this industry.

As a service provider, eve Networks designs, builds and provides products that help people connect and communicate.

We don’t sell directly to customers, they buy our products from MSPs and Resellers. 

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The service layer is pretty interesting.

Distributors play an important role in how eve Networks solutions are brought to market. Reach is a fundamental value, as most distributors have a large partner community.

MSPs and resellers add value by offering brilliant service and support to their customers. They purchase solutions from eve Networks, or a distributor, and market them to their customers. They advise on the best solution, set it up, and provide ongoing support once it’s live.

sharing our experience

We have an incredibly experienced and knowledgeable team, as a lot of the eve Networks team have spent their entire careers in the telecoms industry.

Our job is to share that experience by supporting our partners.

As well as joining us for product accreditations and getting help with technical and sales support, partners can work closely with our brilliant marketing team.

We also help partners identify customer behaviour trends by analysing data, so they can spot opportunities and sell more.

The UK is upgrading to digital. Openreach is winding down the copper-based network that’s served the UK for over a century. Openreach’s intention is to force a country-wide digital upgrade by 2025. You can read more about that on our live blog – everything you need to know about Openreach’s WLR and PSTN switch-off.

For any telecoms reseller that provides services that sit on Openreach’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), churn is guaranteed.

As well as creating sales opportunities for IP solutions, 2025 drives the need for a faster roll-out of fibre connectivity, so all customers can connect and communicate online.

The channel

The ICT channel, also known as the IT channel or technology channel, refers to the ecosystem of companies and entities involved in the distribution and sale of information and communication technology (ICT) products and services.

It encompasses the various intermediaries, resellers, vendors, distributors, and value-added service providers that facilitate the flow of technology products from manufacturers to end customers.

The ICT channel plays a crucial role in the technology industry by bridging the gap between technology vendors and end-users.

It enables the efficient distribution, marketing, and support of ICT products and services.

The channel ecosystem typically includes the following key participants:

Service Providers, Manufacturers and Vendors

These are the companies that design, develop, and produce ICT products, including hardware devices, software applications, networking equipment, and other technology solutions. They may also provide associated services and support.


Distributors serve as intermediaries between manufacturers/vendors and resellers. They purchase products in bulk from manufacturers and distribute them to resellers, value-added resellers (VARs), system integrators, and other channel partners.

Distributors often provide additional services such as warehousing, inventory management, logistics, and financing.


Resellers, also known as channel partners or IT resellers, are businesses that purchase ICT products from distributors or vendors and sell them to end customers.

They may specialise in specific product categories or serve specific industries. Resellers may offer value-added services such as consulting, installation, configuration, technical support, and maintenance.

Value-added Resellers (VARs)

VARs are resellers that enhance the value of ICT products by integrating them with additional software, customisation, or other services to create a comprehensive solution for customers. VARs may also provide consulting, implementation, training, and ongoing support to ensure the successful deployment and utilisation of the technology.

System Integrators (SIs)

System Integrators are companies that specialise in integrating various ICT components, systems, and software to create unified solutions that meet specific business requirements. SIs design, implement, and manage complex technology projects, often involving multiple vendors and technologies.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

MSPs are companies that deliver proactive, outsourced IT services and support to organisations. They often provide comprehensive management and monitoring of IT infrastructure, cloud services, security, data backup, and other managed services on a subscription or contract basis.

Consultants and IT Advisors

Consultants and IT advisors provide expert guidance, strategic planning, and technology assessments to help businesses make informed decisions about their IT investments, digital transformation initiatives, and overall technology strategies.

The ICT channel is a dynamic and interconnected network that enables the efficient distribution, support, and adoption of technology solutions. It helps technology vendors reach a wider customer base, allows resellers to offer a diverse range of products and services, and assists end customers in accessing and implementing the right technology solutions for their needs.


And let’s not forget the people we’re all here to serve – the customers.

These are the people who use technology to connect and communicate.

Sometimes referred to as ‘end users’, but we prefer ‘customers’ because well … that’s a little bit more human.

If you have any questions about telecoms, I’m always happy to chat.

Email hello@evenetworks.com and we’ll set it up.

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