Hosted VoIP provider Inclarity today launched a Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) service providing a single portable business communications device that can work across fixed wireline and wireless networks.
The FMC service, available on Nokia E and N series dual-mode mobile phones, will enable businesses to take advantage of free or cheap calls in the office and Wi-Fi hotspots and can switch to regular GSM rates when outside of it. It allows companies to equip workers with just one communications device, one phone number, one directory and one voicemail box.
Alternatively, organisations that already have Nokia E and N series phones can simply deploy the Inclarity FMC client software onto their devices for a simple conversion.
Inclarity FMC enables workers to use their mobile devices just like an IP desk-phone. For example, employees can transfer calls, hold a call or conduct a three-way conference call all from one mobile device. Calls made over the devices within any Wi-Fi network are also significantly cheaper than conventional fixed line rates.
Dave Millett, Chief Operating Officer at Inclarity, said: “This has the potential to change the way businesses use telephony in the office forever. We’re one of the first companies to market with a comprehensive FMC offering in the UK. In these pressured economic times it’s vital that companies have a practical way to take advantage of cheaper calls and more effective communication.
“Inclarity conducted research in conjunction with YouGov last year that revealed British businesses were leaking money through inefficient use of work mobile phones. We polled more than 2,000 people across Britain and revealed that 31 per cent of employees make work-related calls from their mobiles when in the office more than two or three times a week – even when they had an opportunity to use a landline. Of those, 65 per cent make work-related calls from their mobile phones more than twice a day,” Mr Millett said.
Inclarity believes that demand for FMC services has started to mirror Wi-Fi hot spot growth. ABI Research said that it expects the number of Wi-Fi hotspots around the world to grow by 40 per cent in 2008 (compared to 2007) with the largest increase taking place in Europe, notably the UK. Analysts are also forecasting that free Wi-Fi access will become more commonplace as organisations introduce it as a value-added amenity that locations can offer their guests, or as a way to attract customers.
Inclarity developed its FMC offering in response to persistent requests from the channel. Enis Suleyman, Channel Partner Manager at Onyx Group, said: “I’m very excited about Inclarity’s FMC proposition. It is something the market is asking for and this is the first simple to deploy productised solution I have seen. I think this makes the whole hosted VoIP solution even more attractive.”
“We’ve listened to our channel and have come up with a one-stop shop for FMC,” added Mr Millett. “As far as we’re aware no other UK vendor has such an integrated FMC service, which turns your existing mobile phone into your true desk extension. Our FMC service is ideal for organisations that have a large roaming or mobile workforce, or for those that have multi-site and campus offices, particularly if they have high mobile bills. FMC offers them much more control over their communication costs.”