As a small business owner, or someone responsible for telecommunications services within a business, you're aware that this new reality has associated costs. If you and your employees are spending more time on mobile devices, you need that time to be as cost-effective as possible. At the same time, you need to make sure that your wireless communications are reliable, so that you don't let your customers or suppliers down with dropped calls or other interruptions.
A recent innovation that can help to delivery cost-effective and reliable connectivity involves carrying voice calls over Wi-Fi networks.
What is Wi-Fi calling and how does it work?
Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) is a technology that enables you to make voice calls on a smartphone over a Wi-Fi network. Known more commonly as Wi-Fi calling, this technology can provide enhanced voice coverage in your workplace, especially if you have a weak wireless signal. With Wi-Fi calling, you can use your smartphone instead of an office land-line, so that you can be reached at one number regardless of whether you're in the office or on the move. With the right Wi-Fi calling plan, you can also lower your wireless costs.
- UMA-enabled dual mode handsets
- A broadband Wi-Fi access point or network capable of handling voice service
- A Wi-Fi calling plan
To understand the technology behind Wi-Fi calling, think of it as creating an IP extension of your wireless service provider's network - the Internet becomes a transport medium for voice calls.
What are the business benefits?
- Cost predictability - if you subscribe to a Wi-Fi calling plan that provides unlimited local or national calling, the calls you make on Wi-Fi don't count towards your total monthly minutes. Using fewer minutes can mean fewer overage fees
- Enhanced coverage - if the wireless signal at your workplace is weak or inconsistent, Wi-Fi calling can reduce dropped calls and keep you connected to your customers and the other people who matter to your business
- Seamless connectivity - Wi-Fi calling keeps you connected as you go about your business. Use your smartphone as your office phone, and you won't have to worry about using multiple phones, forwarding your calls or providing your customers with multiple numbers
- Ease of use and deployment - if your business has a Wi-Fi network and UMA-enabled smartphones, deploying Wi-Fi calling can be fast and easy for many handsets (most devices now come enabled). Beyond the initial set up, Wi-Fi calling requires minimal learning and little to no changes in behaviour for an employee already using a smartphone.