OUR offices are changing because the way we do business is becoming gradually more flexible and fluid. Only a few years ago, the idea of being able to call colleagues in London free of charge using the same network or contacts abroad for next to nothing was unheard of. Then consumer Skype entered the market and more and more businesses realised the benefits of adopting Internet Protocol (IP) telephony.

Fast forward to the present day and businesses are realising the benefits of true convergence in the form of Private Mobile Networks (PMN). Simply put, PMN’s provide businesses with the ability to add existing mobile phones to a corporate voice network transforming mobiles into normal office phones. When it is estimated that up to 25 per cent of intra-office calls are mobile to mobile, the cost savings to business are potentially huge.

Again, where the consumer sector led, the business market has cherry picked the features best suited to its own requirements. Consumer Fixed Mobile Convergence as the jargon goes is best known for its ability to deliver multimedia content to a mobile phone or a wi-fi capable laptop but it also includes the ability of specially adapted mobile phones to tap into the home wi-fi network with calls costing the same as on a fixed line.

In a business setting, a PMN solution gives companies the ability to manage the costs of mobile phone calls much more effectively. Calls and messages can be exchanged between landlines and mobiles on site at no extra cost and staff can make external calls much more cheaply.

The new technology also allows staff the ability to ‘hot desk’ around the office or to roam in the vacinity of the workplace without incurring more expensive mobile call charges. Staff are not in turn restricted to their desks and can work more creatively and more flexibly with others as a result.

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