A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for a TechTarget piece on Mobile VoIP.

One of the set’s of questions that I was asked had to deal with the business use case for Mobile VoIP – or more specifically – is Mobile VoIP ready for the small medium business or even the enterprise? Well, the answer to that questions is both yes and no depending on where your business lies on the technology adoption curve.

If you have yet to wrap your head around the wonderful world of fixed line VoIP, then the answer is you’re probably not there yet. If, however, you have already implemented fixed line VoIP throughout your organization and have a NEED for Mobile VoIP calling (for instance international travelers or those who are calling international and are new a WiFi connection frequently) then there is definitely a strong case for exploring Mobile VoIP as it is a natural extension of what you are already doing.

Mobile VoIP, as technology, is still in it’s infancy. Does it work? Yes. But, there are still some kinks and hurdles that a business will face when deploying a Mobile VoIP solution across their organization. To name a few:

  1. Do the mobile handsets that you use support WiFi?
  2. Do the mobile handsets that you use support Mobile VoIP providers?
  3. How do you support the multiple different handsets and multiple calling accounts?
  4. Are your users comfortable with using the technology?
  5. What are your users expectations as it relates to call quality and accessibility?
  6. Does your existing infrastructure integrate with Mobile VoIP services?
  7. Will services be available and cost effective in the destinations and stations that users will be working in?

Obviously, this is a quick and dirty list – but, it is a great place to start if you are a business and you are thinking about Mobile VoIP. Again, Mobile VoIP is the future, but it isn’t necessarily the present for everyone.  The answer to the question of whether or not Mobile VoIP is right for your business is not a straight forward one, however, if you take a hard look at the questions above and spend some time testing the various services, I am fairly confident you will find the right answer.

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  1. Cellular and related services are so pervasive and cheap that I currently see no role for VoWifi in the field for our company.

    Within the company walls there is possibly a role in providing cordless mobility leveraging dual mode (GSM/Wifi) handsets so that we don’t have to buy limited function VoWifi handsets. DECT has the upper hand at the moment, but VoWifi could be compelling as new hardware emerges.

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  2. @ michael:

    You work for a UK based company, correct?

    I am surprised to hear that you are getting better cellular rates on calls to the UK from your cellular phone then you would with, say, Truphone.

    What are you using? Calling card, call back?

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  3. Hi Friend,

    You are very right in saying that “Mobile VoIP is the future”…Now we can make cheap international calls from our mobile phones..thanx to mobile VoIP service providers.. New technologies like mobile VoIP are bringing many facilities for customers like me who live abroad and need to call their family n friends back home oftenly..) I have heard a lots of good things about mobile VoIP, but also heard from my friends who have been using VoIP from quite some time that some service providers have cheap rates but not good quality some have support issues etc. Having said that they still believe that using a good VoIP service provider saves a lot of your money on daily phone calls whether it’s a local or an international calls or sending SMS.. So I am also thinking of permanently switching to some good mobile VoIP service. Last week I happen to try this new service called Vopium.com on my Nokia N82 as they provide you with 30 free minutes to test their services. At first I felt there was some distortion but as i continued it faded, and then I talked for about half an hour with my family and friends back in my home country without worrying too much about my pocket…its all the miracles of mobile Voip…

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  4. I travel abroad quite often – especially to Asia. Services providing decreased mobile phone rates for International calls and Callback are an excellent low-lost solution, however, my WiFi handset registered to my Enterprise VoIP PBX allows me to place and receive No-Cost Calls. No-Cost calls can help shorten my WiFi handset ROI, however, the best thing I enjoy about using my WiFi handset is immediate ‘Presence’ and ‘Availability’ for my customers, colleagues, family, and friends.

    When I am overseas, especially with the time zone differences, I am able to answer inbound calls within 3 rings when a caller dials my business line. Some customers know I am traveling and expect to leave me a voice mail, and when I answer the phone and provide immediate answers to their questions, this saves time for my customers, time for me, simplifies my workload in process making me more productive, and shortens any sales and business issue cycles for my customers and myself. When I am able to generate company revenue in a shorter time period, while satisfying customer requests yields shorter sales and business cycles, everyone wins – far surpassing any Low-Cost vs. No-Cost ROI benefits.

    When I am overseas I also enjoy using the Enterprise functionality provided by my VoIP PBX. I do not have to delay conference calls for days or weeks since I can use local PSTN trunks from my PBX when I have to dial into someone else’s conference bridge, and, I can use my own conference bridge to continue to schedule and manage my own conference calls as well.

    In this competitive market, and given the status of the economy, saving pennies on calls can be a good solution to decreasing costs, however, increasing revenue through my availability, presence, and VoIP PBX functionality, provides me and my organization with a WiFi handset ROI recognized in 1 call than leads to 10s, 100s, and even 1,000s of times greater than saving a just few pennies on calls.

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