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Understanding Mobile Phones

Although call cost savings are the easiest to measure, they provide the most small scale for savings. More benefits can be derived through infrastructure efficiencies and productivity. Infrastructure savings are delivered through fixed-line replacement strategies and greenfield site deployments. This impacts the CAPEX and ongoing OPEX requirements of owning a fixed and mobile fleet. While providing the most incredible opportunity for organizations to benefit from convergence, productivity, and improved business processes are also the hardest to quantify. For example, while a converged voicemail solution may save an employee five minutes of effort a day, the real benefit may not be directly derived from having an extra five minutes for ‘productive’ work. The benefits may be delivered through customer satisfaction and repeat business due to improved response times. However, most companies now measure customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator. Therefore, the increase in productivity and potential process re-engineering that can be achieved will positively impact customer satisfaction levels.

Mobile Phones

Benefits include

  • Extending fixed-line call features to mobile handsets
  • Reducing call costs
  • Improving the Responsiveness of the Business
  • Delivering control – for instance, for compliance with FSA regulations
  • Reducing duplication
  • Ease of extending the Capacity
  • Improving productivity

Using converged solutions also makes the workforce more productive through mobile access to direct-dial extensions and conferencing. Employees can respond faster to voicemails and benefit from reduced telephone tags to answer more calls the first time. The following examples illustrate specific productivity gains:

    • Consultants within a Healthcare Consulting company achieved a 10 to 15% productivity gain due to reduced telephone tag.
    • Carers at a Home Care Services company achieved time savings of 60 minutes each day per employee due to fewer voicemails; more calls answered the first time, and reduced telephone tags.
    • A specialist call center within a Travel Insurance company handled 25% more calls as a direct result of the increased Responsiveness of staff.
    • Universityachieved, one hour is saved daily for IT support staff, minimizing delays in reaching colleagues to issue job instructions or resolve issues.
  • Within a Hospital, nurses could save at least 10 minutes each time they retrieved patient results by accessing and checking results irrespective of location within the hospital.

Productivity benefits can be relatively difficult to quantify and are best addressed individually. However, financial savings can be found by calculating, for example, the number of minutes saved per day through enhanced communications and business processes (e.g., time wasted unnecessarily visiting the office to pick up desk-based voicemails or job schedules). In addition, the ability to rapidly and consistently answer inquiries and client calls can ensure that a client is gained and maintained owing to a better standard of service. Although more challenging to measure, research has shown that softer benefits can lead to quantifiable revenue, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and work rate or cost-saving improvements for enterprises.

A straightforward solution is a feature-rich Business SIM enabling Voice, SMS & Data 3G, and HSDPA while roaming. This mobile SIM provides complete business control over calls and texts nationally on the hosted network and while Roaming. In addition, the SIM allows connectivity to defined private mobile networks and access to a common core for application activation. The mobile is enhanced by providing short code dialing to other extensions in the business and support for the same feature dialing provided on fixed-line handsets, enhancing application integration. The MNO or MVNO provides for number portability, ensures that users can maintain their existing phone numbers, and avoids any disruption to the dialing experience for the end-user; no user training is required.

Ideally, the network fully supports data options, providing internet and mail connections. Access Point Names ( APNs) are supplied for web-supported applications such as Push-to-Talk (PTT. Subscribers naturally expect the same service capabilities when traveling abroad as they do when registered onto their home network. Ideally, they want to dial straight from their mobile contacts list without having to edit numbers to specify the correct country code. We aim to avoid complicated methods to make a call while ensuring subscribers can use their accounts when roaming internationally.

CAMEL Customised Applications for Mobile Network Enhanced Logic support means that the user dials usually as long as the international network supports CAMEL. Costs are typically less than average call rates, and this solution ensures call recording, as required for FSA compliance, is still delivered while traveling in CAMEL countries. When CAMEL is supported, we can guarantee a seamless prepaid roaming experience. CAMEL Call Back This solution means the caller calls as standard and is directed to the platform. The call then drops for a short period. The platform immediately rings the caller and destination number back and connects the two parties. This solution is CAMEL-dependent and ensures a lower call rate, incurring a slightly longer connection time.

Roaming will enable connection even when no CAMEL network is available. The call is made over the local macro network selected for the most robust network signal in the area. Call charges are at the standard country rates. This solution guarantees connection but will not ensure call recording within FSA regulations and potentially incurs the highest call rate. The SIMs can support mobile and landline numbers, enabling a mobile phone to host both a standard landline DDI (Number) and a mobile number simultaneously. It will help a wide range of handset models, and since it is independent of Smartphone operating systems, it is unaffected by managing system changes.

As a result of the call routing presentation at the PBX or hosted data center switch, shortcode dialing and feature dialing (i.e., Number tagging to request a feature or application support such as record/don’t record or identification of private calls) are supported. Removing Business Costs Mobile phone software applications raise several management, cost, and support issues for businesses. Furthermore, mobile applications can be bypassed, even if this requires rebooting the mobile phone. All applications are delivered and supported centrally from the core; there is no need for support on the individual handsets; all that is needed is a New SIM card. The outbound call leg is under the control of the business and will typically be configured to avoid Mobile Network Operator (MNO) charges for national and international calls. Calls, at the discretion of the company, may be placed:

  • FOC over internal, national, and global business networks if they remain on-net or at landline contract rates for off-net calls over PSTN or the business’s chosen carrier
  • Inbound calls to mobiles are presented at the PBX and receive a share of the Media Termination Credits (a credit to the SIM) paid to the Mobile Network

In addition, this can provide significant savings, above 70%, on international roaming charges. This is provided by:

  • Use of professional mobile operator Call Back
  • Reduced costs as the outbound call leg is under the control of the business

Will route all calls and messages (SMS) to a common core for switching. This common core may also route calls or messages to or through an application platform, which, in turn, will activate the required service for that call or message. This enables Fixed and Mobile calls and messaging to use a typical applications platform and, for the first time, ensures that the business requirements are met without requiring applications on mobile phones.

The common core provides a rich capacity for application integration. The ability to dial shortcodes will enable an integrated application to be activated with the dialed digits feeding the application, avoiding the need for the user to enter additional digits. For example, a time registration for, say, Time and Attendance or flex time recording or security staff arriving at a location might dial a number indicating the application and the site – the Calling line ID can identify the caller – all completed in one call.

Push-to-Talk (PTT) PTT is a mobile application enabling mobile phones to be used like Private Mobile Radios (PMR) but with more instruments, including ruggedized phones. PTT is a Hosted Service but available locally with a private mobile network. PTT also provides for Health & Safety Lone Worker requirements to locate using SMS and GPRS. Support for various user-related applications providing inbound call management, mail, and business services for the individual. This means that these services are available from both fixed-line and mobile handsets.

Intelligent Number (iN) Intelligent Number supports personal numbering, allowing users to deliver their calls to any nominated number that can be dialed, including international numbers. This provides a comprehensive strategy for hot-desking and supporting business continuity/disaster recovery. iN supports lifestyle management; they provide call redirection when not available (e.g., switched off) or by date and time, plus the ability to notify people attempting to make contact through SMS and email notification.

If the person called cannot be contacted, the call may be offered to an assistant or team (e.g., the sales team) for answering. The ‘Assistant’ can have announced the original called party and, if known, the reason for non-answer, to respond to the caller appropriately. This service also provides for manager-secretary working. Voicemail Corporate voicemail services include enhanced notification options through email and SMS integration. Call Recording On-Demand – Press * at any point in your conversation, and a recording of the whole discussion will be captured. This recording will be stored with voice mails and accessible over mobile, fixed phone, or PC.

‘Always-on’ recording for business and regulatory compliance and governance requirements. Integrates the ability to apply call recording to an extension, a mobile, or an intelligent Number – this is enforced through routing for both fixed and mobile calls. Call recordings are accessible through a web portal and can be tampered with, evident, and encrypted. Financial Services Authority (FSA) requirements for mobile voice and SMS recording. There is considerable demand in the mobile market for services to meet FSA requirements for recording both voice and SMS. Fixed Mobile Convergence through the SIM will enable businesses to enforce the recording of both voice and SMS from any company mobile phone through mobile network routing. This solution does not rely on mobile phone software, which users can bypass or delete.

Private mobile network service deployment will see all voice and SMS (into PMX) trunked to the customer premise for delivery through the customer PBXs and over the remote mobile network deployment. The agent will be SIP and a; a will be required for legacy networks/PBXs. Private mobile networks will communicate with the National and Global Mobile Networks through the platform interconnect. Customers with their legacy PBX or IP PBX or a network of either or both PLUS a local Private mobile network will be provided with control at their PBX over voice calls, which may require routing into the private mobile network. The remote mobile network will communicate with the platform to distribute SMS messages locally or return to the host mobile network. In addition, the private mobile network system will share location and authentication information through the platform to manage connected handsets within the local private mobile network and host networks.

The local PBX is an IP PBX supporting SIP extensions. The local private mobile network system will use the personal mobile network SIP Registration Manager to register mobiles within the local private mobile network. Mobiles will be recorded on arrival, and until leaving, the remote mobile network will be treated as SIP extensions on the IP PBX. This close integration will enable mobiles to operate as extensions of the IP PBX and support the local services provided by the IP PBX. Mobiles will have full mobile features and facilities available in the local network. Mobiles will transition between macro, micro, and back to macro mobile networks automatically and seamlessly. SMS messages will be delivered to mobiles either locally or on the macro network.

Mobile users can connect to a private mobile network to provide a solution with security, Capacity, and coverage benefits and further reduce call costs within the private mobile network range. A Private mobile network extension can be seen as a fully flexible and instantly relocatable desk phone replacement. Depending on the type of subscriber and their role, an organization may choose to selectively replace fixed-line PBX extensions with mobile handsets, providing the potential to deliver savings on Moves, Adds, and Changes as the organization grows, as well as the cost to deploy new fixed infrastructure during a PBX upgrade. Within an existing business environment, adding further users to a PBX will incur cabling and installation costs and the essential cost of procuring the handset. In comparison, once the micro mobile network is deployed, adding users to a cellular-based network limits these expenses to:

  • The price of a mobile handset (between £10 and £400 depending on form and function)
  • GSM Base Transceiver Stations (approximately one per 50 handsets, handling seven concurrent calls, equivalent to £35 per handset)

One caveat, however, is that the average lifetime of a mobile handset is far shorter than that of a desk phone, and, as such, multiple purchases may be necessary. In addition, there may be management and maintenance fees associated with the service. Organizational Design Enterprises may wish to move towards flexible working practices such as hot-desking yet may not have an IP-PBX deployment immediately in mind. A private mobile network and Fixed Mobile Convergence solution can help facilitate this by providing the hot-desking flexibility of an IP-PBX solution without needing significant (and costly) infrastructure deployment. Since a private mobile network-enabled mobile is active when it has detected the microcellular network, employees are not faced with constantly changing their telephone location. As a result, the private mobile network can serve as a substitute for IP-PBX deployment or a compliment if a business wishes to derive other benefits from an IP-PBX deployment.

Enterprises that deployed converged voice solutions have achieved up to a 50% reduction in annualized Moves, Adds, and Changes (MACs). This is achieved by providing new employees with mobile handsets and gradually moving to Flexi-desking, where employees were not offered desk phones. Developing a Business Case for Fixed Mobile Convergence The benefits are a mixture of hard and soft. Although soothing benefits may have the most outstanding value, hard cost savings are typically needed to create the business case. The following areas are crucial to establishing hard cost savings to justify moving to Fixed Mobile Convergence.

Extend Fixed Line Call Features to Mobile Handsets Extending calling features from a company’s PBX to a mobile handset means these features and functions are no longer the sole preserve of the office and are available when away from the desk or out of the office. Other benefits of this voice-focused convergence include the provision of single number reach and single voicemail. Subscribers may use a single fixed line number to reach them via mobile, with all voicemails terminating at the company PBX. Enhanced calling services previously only available on selected lines, such as call recording and call tracking, may also be extended to mobile handsets.

Fixed Mobile Convergence Mobile enables PBX features and benefits to be accessible via mobile phones, both in and out of the office. Reducing Call Costs Controlling communications costs is a perennial concern for all businesses, exacerbated by the increasing need to provide employees with mobile devices. Overall, the percentage of employees using mobile devices in Europe continues to grow. The increasing usage of mobile phones further aggravates the cost of calls. When targeted at appropriate end-users who will best benefit from improved vs. mobile call arbitrage, Fixed Mobile Convergence has the potential to help businesses curb their call spend.

Most call cost savings will be from calls to non-geographical and international numbers. Improving Responsiveness With only 25% of calls reaching their intended participant first time, improving communications is one of the top three reasons for deploying FMC services. To enhance customer service, businesses seek to strengthen employee Responsiveness through quicker access to voicemail, picking up more calls, and allowing customer inquiries to be passed on to the most appropriate employee or team member. Enhancing internal communication is essential as businesses seek to speed up decision-making and boost colleague collaboration to reduce lead times.

Improving Productivity Financial benefits can be derived from increased employee productivity and constructability. With improved coverage and the near-ubiquitous presence of mobile devices, employees can answer and respond to customer queries and requests, with fewer calls terminating the voicemail system. Furthermore, increased communication efficiency can shorten the decision-making cycle, allowing management to be more responsive and act faster. Using converged solutions also makes the workforce more productive through mobile access to direct-dial extensions and conferencing. Employees can respond more quickly to voicemails and benefit from reduced telephone tags due to the increased percentage of calls answered the first time. Although more challenging to measure, research has shown that softer benefits can lead to quantifiable revenue, customer retention, customer satisfaction, and work rate or cost-saving improvements for enterprises.


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.