Guerilla redefines corporate connectivity, putting the user first

  • Disruptive technology provider designs a better way to consume business mobile phones and tariffs
  • Mobile networks have had the same “free phone” strategy for too long
  • Providing simple, low costs financing platforms for handsets allows monthly tariff costs to be reduced like never before
  • Now more affordable to invest in the right products at the right time to meet increasing demands

Disruptive technology company, Guerilla ICT, is shaking up the telecommunications sector by creating a new business model that no longer allows telco providers to hold business to ransom.

Company founder Craig Hall says: “For too long, corporate telecommunication providers have tried to incorporate the punitive costs of ever-more complex smartphones into mobile network’s tariff charges.”

“This business model needs changing urgently, but resellers and networks appear reluctant to move to a new, moore appropriate business model.”

Frustrated with the incumbent industry norms, veteran telco expert Craig Hall set up a new kind of company, Guerilla ICT, in 2020, offering digital disruption to an industry that does not evolve fast enough to suit the needs of dynamic customers.

Now, thanks to Guerilla ICT’s simple and straightforward approach to corporate communications and technology needs, businesses of all sizes can take full advantage of access to the latest equipment and cost-effective communications, without feeling like they are being ‘held to ransom’ by a phone tariff.

Guerilla provides the smartphone and tariffs companies require to operate most effectively, on a fixed price plan – entirely separate to the network tariff. This ‘customer first’ approach seems, shockingly, to be a new idea in the enterprise telecoms sector.

The best phones become affordable thanks to excellent financial terms, reducing capital outlay to zero. And rather than fixing the tariff to the hardware requirement (an inefficient way to buy hardware), customers are free to move to SIM-only network contracts, greatly reducing monthly outlay for every handset .

Customers are also free to mix and match networks to suit local requirements, such as signal coverage. Hall can easily show how this method reduces overall monthly outlay, while increasing employee’s effective communications – from everywhere.

“We are putting contractual power into your hands, because you are not repaying the network for the cost of the phones, or being tied into a bad deal. Since 1996, vendors have been selling contracts to companies that suit their needs, rather than creating cost-effective, more bespoke packages with the customer in mind – and now we are, at last, changing that,” says Craig Hall.

The disruptive new model dovetails with other areas where Guerilla ICT is also shaking up and improving the communications business.

Craig and his team, in spending this last year talking to many struggling business owners, is offering a new way to manage communications. Simply put, Guerilla helps companies ensure they are maximising their telecommunications and providing the best possible tools to ensure key talent has the best possible tools for the job.

He says: “Given the prevalence of remote working this year, a few urgent matters have come to the fore. We need to achieve three big shifts in the relationship between comms suppliers and clients. Firstly, we need to create fairer terms and shorter, more flexible contracts.

“Secondly, we need to integrate the best technology in creative ways to solve real problems. Finally, we need to remove waste and fat from bills to free up capital to help our clients focus on more ambitious outcomes.”

Craig’s long industry knowledge and contacts mean Guerilla can offer phones at fantastic price points, giving staff the opportunity to take full advantage of the latest technology, connectivity and productivity tools. Guerilla is working to separate the conversation between discussing hardware needs and business communications needs – which have been intertwined for too long.

“Vendors provide a finite amount of money by way of a network commission. This changes the conversation from what is necessary, to ‘what can we afford within the pot of money provided?’. This often creates unfair decisions on who can have an upgrade this year and who will have to wait two more years. The smartphone needs to be an asset to all employees, so the priority should be shifted. Our new business model brings that into effect,” he explains.

The move to mobile office working makes the timing of this launch even more important.

“We have to change the conversation, and this is a great way to do that because we don’t have to wait until a clients’ mobile contract is up before we look at supplying equipment. Do you have faulty phones? Don’t hang on, come to us now and we will provide the equipment straight away. Then, when your contract is due for renewal, let us loose to reduce monthly costs right down,” says the expert.

On top of an easy way to get the latest phones – and even reward the hard work of teams working under difficult conditions – Craig offers his famous ‘Cup of Tea Challenge’.

The challenge is a chance for Craig to explain how he can help extract business users from over-priced, over-complicated and often inappropriate communication contracts, in the time it takes to make and drink a cuppa.

“Whether you feel stuck in a contract, or simply want to cut costs, I’m always delighted to offer help and advice,” he says, “and we are now at a tipping point. I set up Guerilla ICT as I was tired of waiting for the larger telco providers to realise they needed to listen and respond to customer’s needs, rather than deliver what they always have.I’m doing it myself, and have been inundated with companies requesting details of how to get out of costly contracts.”

“I ask people to answer a few simple questions,” concludes Craig: “Do you want help in ensuring your company survives these tumultuous times? Do you want your staff to enjoy a professional point of presence, office level connectivity on the road, and the latest phones? And do you want to save money on your monthly phone and internet bill? Get the kettle on…let’s talk!”

Whatever your connectivity issues – or however intractable you might feel your incumbent contract is – Craig offers a free consultation with the aim of helping every business weather the current adverse economic conditions.

Stop the chatter – time to take remote working to the next level

There’s simply no need to suffer poor connectivity at home, and as we continue working remotely, we need to ensure we can communicate properly…

We’ve all been there. You’re online – Zoom, Skype, Teams – and are about to make a major presentation, or you’re listening in on a vital company update from the board – and your signal drops. The call is dead, and so is that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If you’ve ever wondered why your Zoom meetings are such poor quality, you might not know that the biggest roadblock when working from home is simply this: it’s a difficult environment to deliver Wi-Fi.

It’s annoying, it’s frustrating and it can be embarrassing. But it needn’t be like this. Craig Hall and the Guerilla ICT team feel your pain. We might all have to communicate from home, we might all be working remotely, but Guerilla ICT can, at least, help ensure smooth comms.

And smooth comms are vital for business survival right now. We can’t live in a world where important client meetings drop, where we are all moaning about poor Wifi – when it’s not even the fault of the Wifi, but more often than not, it’s a simple case of a few tweaks, a different piece of kit and the enterprise savvy of Craig and his team.

Internet to the device

Says the veteran comms expert: “We have heard so many people complaining about bad Wifi. But more often than not, it is not the WiFi signal – it’s how the signal is affected in the home, or the home office, or office.

“There are myriad reasons why broadband is affected in personal properties. But now, more than ever, it needs to be a business-grade product. Our commitment is not just internet by any means. It is Internet to the device by any means. It matters not if your perimeter wall has high speed fibre broadband If your inner walls have affected radio transmission.”

There’s a myriad of solutions, of course. Craig’s argument is that while we are moving towards the second year of working remotely and working from home, it’s time business leaders helped ensure their remote workers enjoy enterprise level connectivity.

And how to achieve that? Firstly, it’s worth getting a bit of context.

Craig explains how Wifi signals operate in a tiny bandwidth. (And remember, bandwidth is the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time). As we are all using more web connected devices, for more data intensive applications than ever before at home, it’s important to make sure bandwidth increases as well.

If you’re at home, your Zoom call is competing with your Sky Q, Netflix, the microwave, your phone(s), your tablets, your gaming console, etc etc- not to mention all your neighbours’ devices. And all these devices are trying to get in on a signal in a tiny range.

Listening out for chatter

“Imagine being in a crowded pub on a Friday night with a mate – you can only hear each other if you start raising your voice. Or imagine a swimming pool on a busy day, you can fit 250 people in the pool, but no-one will be able to swim – this is what we’re up against in terms of your broadband content. And it’s what we call chatter. Our job is often to find the best way to literally cut through the chatter,” he explains.

A strong signal could be directed into your house, but it can be shattered like a crystal glass once over the threshold, given the number of devices fighting for it.

And then there’s the physical environment. Craig says we can think of Wifi like radio waves. Walls, doors and natural landscapes can all weaken the signal strength. And it’s on the same spectrum as light. “If you can’t shine a torch through it, the signal won’t go through,” says Craig.

And modern houses made with aluminium-backed plasterboard, for example, act like signal-blocking Faraday cages – in other words, your entire home could be acting like a shield, stopping Wifi signal in its tracks. Certainly, many of us experience different signal strengths from room to room – and this can be explained simply by understanding how the walls are made.

Craig’s career has seen him deliver powerful broadband connectivity to hundreds of businesses and communities, and he readily admits he ‘headed back to school’ to discover how best to deliver broadband to devices within properties. Home networks are predominantly wireless, whereas businesses are predominantly wired. So, that’s a major difference between home working and working within office premises.

Swimming lanes

Craig picks up on the problem again: “The biggest thing is that you’re working on a very crowded broadband spectrum. There are devices within premises that are eating away at the capacity of the wireless, (known as co-channel interference) and homes are often on estates where your home and others are very close – and are broadcasting within the same bands.”

There are several tips and tricks that can be used to help ensure the signal gets better, such as separating out devices that are vying for space. Going back to the busy swimming pool analogy, Craig says Guerilla ICT’s offer is the equivalent of putting swimming lanes in for each device.

“We can also use the Earth of an electrical circuit to create a data network to get past the walls, but it’s done in such a way as to compliment the router not to battle the router, which out of box products don’t do,” he adds.

In his experience, larger more broadband-hungry devices should be hard wired into the network. So TVs and gaming consoles should enjoy a wired connection. Smaller, less used and less broadband hungry devices like phones can be used wirelessly.

The problem with extenders

“We break things down. We also defend the home against other signals from other properties by moving the bands and making sure they’re in quiet space. We do this using Wi-Fi survey tools, which measure the signal and the signal to noise of everything in the environment. So, as we walk around a property, we can locate ‘black spots’ and can put in solutions to solve those black spots. It’s done through facts, not supposition.

Another part of Craig’s frustration is that he feels It is not fair for a customer without experience of engineering connectivity solutions to go and take a product off the shelf and expect to maximize the use of it themselves.

Surely WiFi extenders go some way to solving the problems?

Craig says no: “So one of the biggest problems is people who buy Wi-Fi extenders. So they take the Wi-Fi signal in the location and then power it up and redistribute it out from their own device. It’s a plug-in device. The problem is it is taking bandwidth from the router. It is not using the wire of the Earth to get to it, and therefore is crowding out the actual router itself.

There is another issue. There are two different internal Wi-Fi frequency bands available – 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz. Within each band there are different channels – Essentially, WiFi channels are smaller bands within the 2.54 or 5GHz WiFi frequency bands, used by your wireless network to send and receive data.

Bands on the run

Current 2.4 Ghz bands offer only 100 megahertz bandwidth, and just 14 channels available in that narrow bandwidth. Routers and other devices are pre-set to mostly connect via the three biggest channels – 1, 6 or 11. So you can see the problem – there is very limited space for devices to compete for bandwidth. Where 5Ghz connections are available there is a larger range, so less crowded channels, and more bandwidth.

Craig explains: “Immediately when you plug anything in, it’s automatically trying to go for those three bands, so is your neighbour’s router, so are all the other devices.”

Off the shelf products all have pretty much the same defaults (utilising those three crowded channels) and because nobody is treating this with the detail it deserves, everyone is just plugging in a bunch of default settings, adding to the problem, often without even realising.

Craig can visit a property and explore connectivity with a signal strength meter, and advise on where and how to position routers, and earth mains connected signal extenders.

He then creates a ‘perimeter of power’, ensuring strong connectivity as required throughout the property, cutting down on interference and chatter.

“Poor connectivity is always either due to a poor signal between your device and your router, or an interfered signal through the air. Our job is to see this and to counter it. Our job is to use our expertise and our knowledge of the reasons why these issues arise, to create an on-net environment within a property.

“It’s by understanding the weaknesses that we can use them. We use our knowledge and experience of getting fast broadband to people’s devices in business and consumer properties and crucially we create affordable solutions,” concludes the expert.

Time to call the experts

Don’t live with poor quality video calls and meetings. You simply don’t need to. What you need to do is call the experts – like Guerilla ICT – to analyse your property, your signal strength and identify the issue, and create a smooth, less stressful work environment for all.

Says Craig: “My message is simply this: – company owners need to invest a little effort, time and capital in ensuring all their staff enjoy the same levels of good connectivity they have come to expect in their work environment, regardless of where they are. Communications continuity is going to help people survive the storms that are coming. Why suffer business losses and poor communications for the sake of a brief meeting with me, and often, a same-day solution?”

As the much-used phrase goes, this is the new normal, and if we need to carry on working remotely and conducting business online, isn’t it time your company enjoyed enterprise level connectivity at home?

Has Covid killed the model?

Has Covid killed the traditional business communications model?

  • Guerilla ICT delivers an urgent, clarion call for UK business survival in the face of a ‘perfect storm’
  • Companies are being forced into comms contracts that will be invalid in 3-4 years
  • COVID has rung out the death knell for the PBX; Guerilla ICT says good riddance

If you are in the process of negotiating a new phone deal – STOP.

That’s the call to action from comms maverick and expert Craig Hall, a man on a mission to help businesses survive the pandemic, save money and take advantage of the state-of -the-art communication systems they deserve.

COVID-19 means the average workforce has dissipated. Working from home has left holes in company communications that need filling – fast. Companies have been left in dire straits – unable and unprepared to handle the rapid business communication changes that need to be made to survive.

Enter Craig Hall, the founder of disruptive telecoms and high speed business internet provider company Guerilla ICT, who is seeing the problem first hand.

“We’ve been calling potential clients to generate business, and more often than not, the decision makers are unavailable. I’m told to send an email dozens of times a day. And those emails often go missing, or lie unanswered in overflowing inboxes. Companies are missing out on vital business – in these tough economic times – for want of better communications and a professional, homogenous presence across the entire business,” he says, “It’s infuriating not being able to get hold of decision makers. If I do get hold of them, it’s an immediate chance to prove my business model – that their current communications set up is terrible – and they are losing value,” adds Hall. He sees the current climate as the ‘perfect storm ’ – the onset of coronavirus has created an urgent need for dynamism within the voice enterprise as well as with data. Secondly, there’s an absolute need for people to trim fat off bills . Simply put, Hall says if it isn’t the (telecoms) bills that are reduced, it will have to be personnel. He is passionately opposed to the telecoms status quo in the UK – companies that intentionally sell long term (five or seven year) contracts, full of premium services that look good on a sales flyer, but reveal a horror story when the small print is examined. And he rails against spurious charges, hidden costs and complex contracts that companies are fearful of extracting them selves from”.

The traditional PBX/PABX – private, internal business telephone exchange – if not killed off by COVID, should be killed off by Guerilla ICT’s up to date communications model – which is faster, cheaper and more appropriate to the needs of midden business.

Hall says the PBX model is only still being sold because of vendor apathy.

“This is not what the market demands, but simply what the vendors offer. They mark up these outdated services, add value on a long lease over seven years, and try to lock businesses into inflexible deals. It’s heartbreaking when you know they are selling the same packages as they were ten years ago. What’s more, as BT moves towards a nationwide full fibre network, (FTTP), and openly retires the massively outdated copper-based PSTN (analogue) network, those companies currently inking long-term deals based on the existing PSTN network will be holding meaningless, invalidated contracts in a few short years.

I’d like to shout from the rooftops ‘STOP’ to anyone currently negotiating a new telecom’s deal. There are still people out there selling seven-year PABX leases. But within 3-5 years , this will be an invalid product and you will have to re-buy – there is no trade in. So three or four years of that lease you negotiate today is going to be invalidated, dead money, and you’ll be paying out for a new contract all over again.”

At a time when most businesses, especially the SMEs which form the backbone of UK industry, need support, the dominant communications players are simply not playing ball. Hall adds: “We are here to help companies not only with broadband but to help them navigate their communications needs – so post-COVID they have a plan B. This has been an unprecedented time, and many of us have been firefighting. We not only want to help quash those fires, but fireproof the buildings and ensure UK business is fully prepared for future fires.”

Allow the Guerilla ICT team to analyse your comms and it will immediately know how and where to make savings – “we point out the unnecessary lines, spurious charges, unnecessary add ons etc., especially when they are on a long contract,” explains the maverick. It’s a simple premise: Guerilla ICT offers superfast broadband, seamlessly, rapidly installed , coupled with immediate cost savings. Guerilla is going head-to-head with the industry’s biggest players to provide transparent charges and cut costs.

A future-proof unified communications system from Guerilla means a shift in the concept of ‘presence’ – from office desk-based presence to the presence of talent. Says Hall: “We are arming individuals to contribute all the time to same customer care standard. So when they leave the building, they don’t become a hard-to-get-hold-of bit player in the customer care journey. Talent that is often the most sought after is now made always available.” In the new normal, as businesses struggle, it’s a no-brainer to ensure your staff is easily contactable, and that your company messaging is seamless, regardless of the method of contact or communication. “We answer the tough questions no-one is asking, help businesses extract them selves from complex contracts and see savings of up to 75% overnight. We are chipping away at the big players, one faster, cheaper, better broadband connection at a time,” concludes Hall. If you want to bring your company into the 21st century, survive the pandemic and enjoy enormous cost savings, take up Craig’s cup of tea challenge.