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October 2008 | Volume 11 / Number 10
Inside Networking

Getting the Mobility Tiger by the Tail

Enterprises around the world give service providers about $500M every year in exchange for bandwidth and connectivity services — well over 35 percent of this goes for cell services! Enterprises need to get more out of their growing mobility investments and get more control over their mobility environments from cost, security and functionality perspectives. So how should you do this?

IT-101 tells you that understanding your overall cell bill, and managing your service providers, is a good place to start. Technology can help on two fronts: reducing local and LD minutes, and reducing out-of-plan roaming charges. Extending PBX (News - Alert) features to your cell phone allows you to carry your calls over your internal network, thus avoiding toll charges. Any way to leverage the Internet (at home, at hotels, and hotspots) is also a path for lowering your cell charges. This includes using your laptop or leveraging dual mode devices (Flag: some carriers may block this capability).

There are also significant opportunities for improved productivity when on the road. What if your cell could have two numbers: one for your business use (in fact, the same as your office number) and one for your personal use? Whenever you made a business call, the called party would see your business number or name. Whenever you are on your cell, presence would show you ‘on the phone’. If you had a smart phone with a unified communication (UC) client, the experience would be even richer. And you could save up to 30 percent on your cell charges by using fewer cell minutes, bypassing roaming charges and leveraging WiFi (News - Alert), if you had a dual-mode phone with cell and WiFi capabilities.

Here are some of the tricks of the trade:

Firstly, the PBX can maintain control of the mobile device, hence the ability to assign a business number to a cell phone. Secondly, when a mobile user receives an incoming call notification, the user can choose to accept the call on his/her mobile device, or re-direct the call to any number shown on the pop-up menu. Thirdly, when initiating a call from the mobile phone, the user can chose to have the communications server call them first at any specified number. Finally, when in WiFi coverage, the user can select to use VoIP bypassing the cell network altogether.

These types of UC mobility solutions deliver more efficient and affordable mobile communications that are simpler to use and manage. The end user is king.

Tony Rybczynski is Director of Strategic Enterprise Technologies at Nortel (News - Alert) (

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