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Why the smartphone won't replace the business landline just yet

As more employees make work calls on their smartphones, employers may consider ditching their landlines, but that can lead to unforeseen problems.

When employees use their smartphones instead of business landlines for work, it can be cost-effective for some...

organizations, but there are downsides to cutting the cord, including problems with call quality and issues around organizational control.

The traditional desktop telephone persists in most enterprise settings today, despite the rise of smartphones. Most telecom managers assume that every desk needs a phone, whether it's based on IP or private branch exchange connections. But everyone has a wireless handset now, and it's unusual to find people in an organization who don't carry theirs with them at all times, whether it's personally or company-owned. For many, personal handsets are the new enterprise phone. Some people even use Wi-Fi to make calls, with services such as Skype and Google Voice.

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But before you unplug all your business landlines, think about some of the problems you may encounter. Do you want important customers, clients and other contacts to have access to your users' personal phone numbers? So many employees use their personal phones for business already, but a policy regarding who owns the connection to a customer might be in order.

Cellular coverage is often a problem as well. Cell signals can be weak indoors and can result in poor call quality or dropped connections, which are unacceptable in a business setting today. Distributed antenna systems and related approaches to improving indoor coverage are available, and a discussion with your cellular carrier can yield cost-effective solutions to coverage problems.

Mobile phones are essential for many corporate activities, but employees whose jobs tie them to a fixed location -- finance departments, call centers, help desks and many more -- really don't need mobile access. In these scenarios, employers will appreciate the lower costs of wired services, and employees will appreciate the improved reliability.

Another problem familiar to employees who use smartphones is that battery life is never sufficient and mobile phones go dead at the worst possible moments. This problem is compounded by the fact that many mobile devices lack user-swappable batteries. If you replace desktop phones with charging stations then battery life becomes less of a problem, but power will remain the weak link in mobility for some time to come.

If users truly benefit from mobility and can reliably depend on their smartphones, there may be no reason to keep spending scarce corporate dollars on business landlines. There are some show-stopping reasons to replace landlines with smartphones, but doing so without evaluating the above considerations could do more harm than good.

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The other Issue is,
that you do not have many Endpoints
that support different Mobile Phones yet, so that you can do Pooling of Desk Space.

The Invoxia 620
( )

can dock an iPhone
or via the the extra USB Port
also any other Phone / Tablet with Sync Cable ---
however it also acts as SIP Client, in case no other Device is docked and you still want to use the Desk with someone sitting on it.
Show me a Cellular Carrier who can provide a ‘cost-effective solution’

You can install a D.A.S. System and hook a PremiCell Device into your PABX - running "free" Calls between Company Mobiles if you fit Company SIM Cards into the PremiCell.

And if you are in a Country with unlimited Minute Tariffs you can also save a bit of a few ISDN Lines going into the Property.

Add a 3G/4G Router,
with still rare to find Fixed IP SIM Cards to the Mix,
in order to allow SIP Connections from your Workforce Mobile SIP Clients to get into your PABX and to use it as Backup in case your Primary SIP Trunk Connection (Fibre / SDSL) is going down.

Will still leave you with the Issue of Mobile Call Handovers & Data offloading from Carrier Networks to in-house WIFI - sure, there are Passpoint(tm) certification in development but the last mile between your Premise and the Cellular Provider's Backbone is still not in reach..