Cell Phone-Only Trend Speeds Convergence

As more employees use mobile devices as their primary work telephones, enterprise telecom managers will increasingly move toward converging fixed-line and mobile networks, a new study says.

May 30, 2006

1 Min Read
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Increasing numbers of employees use their cell phones as their primary work phone, which is speeding up convergence of mobile and fixed-line telephone systems, according to a study released Tuesday by market research firm IDC.

IDC noted that, in a recent survey it conducted, business telecom managers estimated that 28 percent of their employees are using their cell phones as their primary work phone. This leads to potential problems, such as a lack of enterprise control over telephone use and employees accessing multiple messaging systems. Problems such as those are leading enterprises to extend the capabilities of their PBX systems and desktop phones to cell phones, according to IDC.

"The adoption of mobile PBX extensions provides users with a remote control to their desktop phone," Nora Freedman, research analyst with IDC's Enterprise Networks group, said in a statement. "Features such as single number dialing, corporate directory access, and a common voicemail box for mobile and desktop phones are just some examples of how these solutions empower knowledge workers and increase productivity from their mobile device of choice."

One stumbling block, however, is the maturity of technologies that can seamlessly hand off calls between cellular and wireline networks, according to the study. Freedman noted that cellular operators will start offering such services in the future, even though products that integrate the two telephone technologies are starting to be available in off-the-shelf products now.

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