Putting a Lid on Mobile Communications Costs

Having a cell phone started out as a convenient way to keep in touch. Now it’s a business necessity. Spending on mobile devices and communications is growing rapidly:

  • Smartphone sales are poised to outstrip that of PCs and laptops, if they haven’t already.
  • Data traffic on mobile networks is growing at exponential rates, driven primarily by rising consumer adoption of video streaming services.
  • Location-based services (LBS) are coming into their own, which will drive even greater use of mobile communications.

To manage your growing reliance on mobile communications, look for opportunities to control your costs.

Evaluate the plans: Mobile service providers are increasingly looking to tiered pricing plans, enabling you to choose solutions tailored to your specific needs. Options such as zoned billing, flat-rate unlimited plans and free mobile-to-mobile are becoming part of the mix. Maximizing your buying power may mean shifting to a primary provider for everyone in the firm.

Analyze your usage: Before choosing a plan, take the time to closely analyze the ins and outs of your mobile usage:

  • Examine actual employee activity to better understand costs, usage and patterns. This can be the first step in controlling costs and/or changing user behavior.
  • Make sure you are paying for services you are actually using. Unused minutes, extra usage fees, roaming charges as well as unnecessary purchases, such as software or ringtones, can all add to your mobile bill.
  • Consider providing an accounting to employees. Making individuals more aware of how they are using their mobile devices is always a good idea.

Look at the alternatives: In business, it’s estimated that well over half of all mobile usage occurs within the halls and walls of the enterprise, where alternate solutions exist and where a user’s desk phone may be only a couple of feet away. IP-based communications solutions for small and midsize businesses, such as Avaya IP Office (www.avaya.com/small), provide a way to better manage mobile costs, such as

  • Handling incoming mobile calls on landline phones when convenient. You can pre-configure the system to push the mobile call to a ‘free’ landline phone in real time.
  • Eliminate services (e.g., mobile voicemail, conferencing services or text messaging) that are better handled through IP Office.
  • ‘Business-enable’ personal phones or laptops with softphone to take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots in airports, hotels, coffee shops, etc. For a business traveler, this can result in large savings.
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About Vic Levinson
Telecommunications and IT professional with over 20 years experience in Business Telecommunications. Specializing in voice over IP (VoIP) for business: hosted VoIP, business VoIP phone systems, SIP providers, carriers, T1's - the works. Founded Prime Telecommunications in 1993 and providing business communications solutions. Cloud Applications- everything from hosted network security, hosted Disaster Recovery, hosted printer management, data centers and colocation solutions for businesses.

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