Mobile telephony devices
Mobile phones and smartphones are a familiar feature of business life. The ability to make, receive and divert calls, and receive voicemail is important to business users.
What are the mobile services?
As well as telephony on the go, mobile devices also offer data transmission services through:
- global system for mobile communications (GSM) - the first global standard for mobile communication that allows mobile devices to exchange digitised and compressed data
- general packet radio service (GPRS) - an 'always-on' data service similar to broadband, but at slower transfer rates sometimes known as 2G
- 'third generation' (3G) and 'fourth generation' (4G) cellular data services, also offering always-on connection at rates comparable to broadband
- 'fifth generation' (5G) - currently under development, it denotes the next major phase of telecommunications standards
Many mobile handsets are capable of accessing these data services and include functions such as email and web access, and simplified office applications. These handsets are often known as smartphones.
Importance of mobile phones in business communication
- A mobile handset can provide a network connection for other devices, such as tablet computers and laptops using Bluetooth. However, most new laptops and tablets have wireless capability built in making this method virtually redundant.
- Smartphones such as the iPhone, Google Android handsets, Windows phone and BlackBerry phones can combine phone and a pocket-sized computer into a single device. This is a versatile business tool - handling email, offering diary functions, providing data connection for a laptop along with conventional mobile phone use.
- Near-universal availability of cellular networks and the established billing systems between operators, which allow you to use your device outside your service provider's network, make these services very useful for keeping in contact while travelling.
Disadvantages of mobile telephony services in business
- The new data services can be expensive, so it is important to get the right tariff.
- Although improving rapidly, data transmission rates are not as good as wireless local area networks using wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi). See more on wireless technology.
- Smartphones can have disadvantages - the keyboard may be small and therefore difficult to use, and their size also makes them easier to lose or damage.
Read more about choosing business phone systems.