Unnecessary Mobile Costs Hit British Businesses

British businesses may be leaking money through inefficient use of work mobile phones, according to a new survey from Inclarity, the hosted Voice over Internet (VoIP) provider.

The research, conducted in September 2007 in conjunction with YouGov, polled 2,003 people across Britain and revealed that 31 per cent of employees who work in an office make work-related calls from their mobiles when in the office more than two or three times a week. Of those, 65 per cent make work-related calls from their mobile phones more than two times a day.

Inclarity commissioned the research just as fixed mobile convergence (FMC), which promises a single portable communications device that can work across fixed wireline and mobile wireless networks, is being evaluated by UK businesses. According to data from analyst iLocus, mobile operators in the UK stand to lose $1.3 billion a year by 2011 because of FMC.

The average monthly phone bill for a small business of 10 in the UK is £441.80 [source: JD Power and Associates]. Inclarity’s research therefore suggests that businesses are leaking money because employees are using their mobiles more and more frequently even whilst in range of a landline. The Inclarity survey in fact showed that 42 per cent of office workers would welcome having just one FMC device which would be designed to perform the functions of a desk work phone, home phone, mobile phone and PDA. The top three benefits of such a device according to the respondents were as follows:

– Easy to pick up messages (47 per cent);

– Enables me to work from home when I need to/want to (40%); and,

– Having one phone number (35%).

Dave Millett, Operations Director, Inclarity, says: “FMC could save UK businesses a significant amount of money as well ensure better efficiency of staff. British businesses have been throwing money away through inappropriate use of mobiles, but next generation technology will enable workers to have just one FMC device allowing wireless connection to your mobile phone when you’re within the office/home and transferring to GSM when out of range – thus offering even further cost savings. The key to FMC deployment within businesses is that they use a tried and tested business-grade solution, rather than deploying Skype-like products and expecting it to be business ready.”