MVoIP: It’s here. Is it for you?

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Mobile VoIP, or MVoIP – as the cool kids are calling it – appears to be the next big thing. It offers a world of benefits but, like all IP & telephony advances, there are downfalls too.  

When considering adopting Mobile VoIP into your business, make sure you’re armed with all the information to make the best decision.

What is Mobile VoIP?

There are so many ways to define and implement Mobile VoIP. In this article, I am going to explore the extension of Business VoIP to personal mobile devices particularly.

Mobile VoIP is using Voice over Internet Protocol services on your mobile (cellular) phone.

That is, being able to make a voice call over through your private PBX supplier’s service using a software application that runs off your mobile data connection. Leaving your voice minutes or airtime untouched.

The history of mobility.

Cellular phones introduced true mobile telephony to the world. The ability to actually move around and not be hindered by a clumsy cord was revolutionary.

Of course, cellular or mobile phones in the workplace are typically privately owned (BYOD), and these associated business costs would typically need to be claimed back or reimbursed. Eventually, businesses started distributing their own mobile phones to employees to try to keep the accounting and admin in order. But this only complicated the process and created further inefficiencies as non-technical resources tried to carry out billing, reporting and management. This remains a pain for many still today.

Mobility isolated to a company telephone network was first realised with IP Phones. Because calls are routed to the device IP address, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. As long as you plug your phone into a decent Internet connection, you can make and receive calls. The other party is none the wiser. The costs are confined to the business too.

The natural progression of Mobile VoIP.

VoIP has helped companies around the world reduce call costs, increase functionality – and thus productivity – in the workplace. Independence from PSTN (traditional Public Switched Telephone Network) streamlined networking and increased failover measures the world over.

The entrance of mobile phones to the workplace set a president of always being available. Never missing a call. Faster feedback for faster resolution. A business no-brainer.

True to our evolutionary nature, we must push the envelope. VoIP has ‘settled’ and like cell phones, it has become commonplace technology. It is only natural that we humans try to take it to the next step.

Mobile VoIP for business.

Blending the two technologies to create a “best of both” scenario. Containing business telephony to one network (and bill) whilst maintaining complete mobility.

As I said, I’m limiting this topic to the pros and cons of MVoIP for business. Yes, Skype and WhatsApp calling are also examples of using mobile data services as opposed to native voice. But right now I am exploring making mobile phones an extension of the business telephone network.

Implementation.

Here is how I see this happening. Turn the mobile phone into an extension from the PBX using a VoIP App and the company WLAN or Public Internet to send and receive messages and voice. Effectively, making your mobile device an extension. Part of your unified communications (UC) structure.

Benefits:

  • By far cheaper than paying cellphone bills. Universally everyone unanimously agrees on this specific benefit. Some may even argue that’s reason enough to do this.
  • Organised. No more draining important resources to submit claims, verify them, checked itemised bills. Your record keeping for compliance is also neatly centralised.
  • Remote or soft switch management.
  • Functionality. Everything your PBX can do, your mobile phone will too. To name but a few:
    • Call recording.
    • Voicemail.
    • Voicemail to email.
    • Call forwarding.
    • Conference calling.
  • Increased productivity. If you have all the benefits of VoIP then this has to be included.
  • Naturally.

Pitfalls.

  • Bandwidth reliant. Low latency and full-duplex connections are key to a real-time, two-way conversation.
  • Quality. Your mobile phone will be using data services and treating the call as such. There is not much guaranteeing the quality of the call – like echo or packets being decompressed in the right order to the party you are calling. Unlikely, but possible.

Without these two points, you risk lag, packet loss and highly frustrated clientele who will lose trust in you if you have an inferior telephone solution.

  • Prioritisation. Your cellular phone is configured to prioritise voice over data. So when a traditional or native call comes in, your data call takes a back seat.
  • Battery intense. Being mobile is great but let’s face it, being on your phone constantly eats battery life. If your battery dies, all the above-mentioned benefits are defunct.
  • Security. Your running calls over data you need to make sure everything is secure. This could be labour intensive and counteract the resource saving it was meant to do in the first place.

So there you have it. There is real value for companies who consider integrating Mobile VoIP into their organisations. There are, however, problems associated as well.

The best thing to do is speak to a telephony expert to assess your current infrastructure and long term needs and prescribe a solution tailored to your business.

That’s why we are here. Call us, 010 591 4600, or contact us any way that is most convenient for you.

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