A large expense faced by any company with a direct sales force is cell phone service. Many plans still charge by the minute overall, or if there are any overages from included plan minutes. This motivates business owners to find solutions for containing the overall minutes used.
One new gadget that promises to do so is a dual mode cell phone/WiFi phone that switches to a WiFi network when one is available. WiFi networks within your company walls are free, meaning cellular minutes used can dramatically decline.
Today, dual mode phones are available from companies like Linksys, Nokia, and D-Link. T-Mobile offers service that includes both cellular coverage and wireless hot spot access to accommodate such phones. Data access is also made more readily available on such dual enabled phones, allowing users to listen to streaming broadcasts as well.
What’s the downside? WiFi technology is not really designed to allow true mobility. When on the WiFi network, there will be handoffs from access point to access point as the user moves around. There will also be handoffs from the cellular network to the WiFi network and back that can cause calls to drop. This can create some issues with business communications, imagine a dropped call as a customer is detailing his multi-million dollar order!
The good news is that lots of work is being put into making these handoffs more seamless and transparent to the user. This means the future of dual mode phones is quite bright.
In the meantime, this may be a great idea for sales people who spent at least some of their day in an office equipped with WiFi, as calls during this part of the day will be free.
Taking advantage of this new technology means having a robust internal WiFi network with few dead spots and strategically positioned access points so that dropped calls are few and far between. And these access points should be based on a robust and well planning internal network with a strong wired foundation, based on at least cat 5e cabling.
If your internal networks are ready for an overhaul so you can add these phones to your internal IT structure, why not call professional network cabling experts? The right professionals will be happy to analyze your network and make concrete recommendations for enhancements that will move you into today’s world. They can provide a network assessment and upgrade, and then help you choose the best dual mode phones for your team now and in the future.
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