Once cell phones became ubiquitous in the early 2000s, it was clear that landlines were on their way out. Many families held, and still hold, onto their landlines for familiarity reasons. They’re used to having a landline, and people have known their numbers for some time. The younger generation, on the other hand, sees little need for a non-portable, non-personal phone. It is fairly clear that in a decade or so, landlines will have only a niche market.
One of those niche markets is business. While many workers, even those attached to a desk in an office for eight hours a day, have cell phones, they also have office numbers. Not only does that give them a number to hand out to potential clients and contacts, but it makes intra-office communications easier. But if T-Mobile’s new business tools catch on, the boundary between landlines and mobile will be blurred even further.
T-Mobile Office Connect in many ways resembles Google Voice. It’s a single number that can ring multiple phones. That includes both an office landline and a mobile phone. The included software allows users to flip the switch whenever they need to, so they are accessible via that single number at all times. Or they can be available at no times, since the voice mail feature works the same on both the mobile and the landline.
This kind of service might not be right for home usage. It only serves to ring someone’s personal cell phone at a common house location. But for businesses it could be a big break. It can help them reduce costs by paying one price for both landline and mobile service. It also makes life easier for users, since they can have a single number to hand out.
The latter point is something that most office workers would appreciate. When we print up business cards these days, we typically include both an office number, with extension, and a cell number. Many callers will go straight for the cell phone, since they don’t know whether we’re in the office. Having one number puts the control back in the hands of the user, rather than the caller. It’s no small consideration — especially if we don’t want to be bothered after working hours. Presumably you can still check your email, but have calls forwarded to the office (and voicemail).
The service starts at $9.99 per month, but surely there are plenty of upgrades available that will fit the needs of any size business.
Via Phone Scoop.