Some see problems, others opportunities. The fallout from the 1991 recession meant that the telecoms wholesale market was a lot less crowded for new entrants. Andreas Hipp seized the moment to set up Epsilon Telecommunications: “We could also buy equipment from administrators at ten per cent of the original value, which made the business plan work,” he says. Hipp, with two co-founders and a bag of private equity cash, has built Epsilon into a major player in the global voice connectivity sector, with a customer base of 250 telecoms operators. His aim is to get as many international telcos onto the network as possible. “Then size and scale come into play. It works like a club. People join our network as we have a better reach.” And once on, they don’t come off. “Our churn rate is nearly zero, we don’t even measure it,” says Hipp. Turnover last year was £5.8m, and Hipp anticipates this will rise to £10m within two years. “With customers coming from emerging markets, there is still a long way to go.” Compound annual growth is 50.7 per cent.


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