The UK's massive small business sector is entering the age of 'free' telecoms - and a specialist West Midland-based company is aiming to carve a sizeable share of the multibillion pound market.
One of the business world's 'holy grails' - low-cost/no-cost telecoms - hangs on a virtually unknown development which has expanded with the worldwide web, and is now being made available for the first time to small firms and private users.
Multi-national corporations have known about broadband telephony for many years, and have exploited the cost and security advantages it gives to users.
These advantages have never before been available to individuals and small to medium- sized businesses (SMEs) - but now all that has changed, according to Rob Murdoch, sales director of Warwickshire-based communications specialists Titan Technology.
His firm, based on the outskirts of Leamington, is aiming to double its sales in 2005 - an achievable ambition in a growing European market which analysts predict will be worth £2.4 billion in three years time.
Titan is now looking to increase the size of its dealer network in order to meet its target.
Market watchers believe that the broadband services will have replaced conventional telephony in countless millions of businesses and homes throughout western Europe by 2008.
The telephone service - voice and data - is carried by broadband, the use of which is growing so rapidly that before the end of the decade around 75 per cent of all homes in Europe will be connected, industry observers forecast.
Titan offers a 'turn-key' solution to its clients' telecoms needs - renting them the equipment, including special handsets, and charging a monthly fee.
The system will also operate as a 'softphone', operated through a USB link to a desktop computer with a headset that permits 'hands free' use.
Calls to other users on the same network are free, making the system ideal for a wide range of businesses that operate from multiple locations, or which have large volumes of inter-branch calls.
A small charge is made for calls to other networks, but they are significantly cheaper than those demanded by traditional providers.
Mr Murdoch said: "Broadband telephony is ideal for companies that don't have the budgets for massive upfront investment in a PBX that will be obsolete in a few years time, and for companies with multiple branches.
"It is also useful for firms that find it difficult to predict future expansion. With Titan's system you just order a handset and you have an instant extension, exactly where you need it.
"And if you're a start-up business in an incubator unit, or a managed office, you simply take the handset with you when you move to bigger premises." Mr Murdoch added: "No matter how big a business gets, the system can't be outgrown. It will always be the size the business needs it to be."
* For more information log on to www.titantech.co.uk.