Burnside Telecom, a developer and manufacturer of landline and mobile telephone equipment has announced that it is now shipping its new Follow Me call forwarding device.
The vendor says that most companies are still only contactable by their landline telephone number yet an increasing number of people working for such companies are dependant on their mobile phone to stay in touch particularly when they are working out of the office. For the smaller company the most common way of forwarding incoming landline calls to mobiles is to use a call divert service provided by the landline network operator. However the cost of doing this can be high.
Burnside quotes the example of a BT Together customer currently paying 15.44p/mim to divert their landline calls to Vodafone mobiles during peak hours. For companies using non geographic landline phone numbers these costs can be much as 35p/min. It is not unusual for those working out of the office all day like taxis, plumbers, electricians, service engineers or those in boats to be paying in excess of £200 per month per line to divert landline calls to their mobile.
The new Burnside Follow Me unit brings these costs down dramatically. The Follow Me is essentially a mobile phone that can be connected between the landline and the landline telephone or PBX. Incoming calls on the landline network can then be diverted out directly to the mobile network to any remote phone. It uses exactly the same SIM as a mobile phone. By using a SIM on one of the new tariffs now available from UK mobile network operators the cost of the forwarded call can be as little as 0.5p/min. For example T-Mobile’s Daytime 3000 tariff offers 3000 monthly inclusive call minutes to any other T-Mobile phone or national or local landline numbers for only £15/month. If the Follow Me and the called mobile uses one of the group sharing tariffs like Vodafone Sharetime – then the incremental cost of the forwarded calls costs nothing beyond the
fixed monthly tariff rental.
“Follow Me turns your mobile phone into a mobile extension connected to your office or home phone system. Anyone capable of using a mobile phone will have no difficulty installing and using Follow Me. Most users should expect to break even on the capital cost in the first three months,” says David Robson, Director, Burnside Telecom.
Unlike many landline call divert services, new call divert instructions can be sent to the Follow Me by sending a simple text message from a mobile phone anywhere in the world or can be entered locally at no call cost from the keypad of the locally connected touch tone telephone. If instructions are sent by text message, the Follow Me will always send back a text message confirming that it has received and acted on the new divert instructions. There are no impossible to remember divert codes that require the user to find that elusive manual and no quarterly rentals for the ‘service’.
Burnside conclude that it is all too easy for users of call divert services to forget that their calls are being diverted to remote telephones and many calls can go unanswered. Follow Me solves this problem in two ways. Its display shows that calls are being diverted. It can also be set up to ring even though it is forwarding calls to another phone. In this mode which ever phone is answered first takes the call and the chances of the call being taken by a real person is eliminated.