Telework with Cellular Optimizes Work Hours

5/30/09

This second part of this series discusses cellular service for your company.

b.) Cellular Service. Super functional smartphones have pushed cell phone use into more than making calls. For business, it’s enabled staff at all levels to accomplish more work from anywhere, blending work time with lifestyle; productivity increases at low cost. Data plans have extended connectivity of work data to smartphonea, whether through on-board software or 3rd party apps.

The weak economy has raised concerns about who pays for the phone, how data is pushed to it (in-house or hosted) and who owns the phone’s data (remote swiping is available).

Most carriers offer subsidized handset prices for a 1-2yr contract. Rate, data plan and laptop card prices and features differ among carriers, signal strength also varies; most carriers offer rate savings to bundle services into one bill (telephone, broadband and cellular). Get answers to these questions before buying any service(s) and/or handset(s):

  • Total minutes offered by the rate plan?
  • Features of add-on services?
  • Do the handsets offered meet the needs of your business?
  • How user-friendly are the handsets offered?
  • What are the cost and reliability trade-offs of buying new handsets vs refurbished?
  • What are the costs associated with replacing lost, defective or obsolete handsets?

If 5 or less handsets will be used with voice and data plans, review each carrier’s website, compare, buy online or meet with a business (or retail) salesperson to assemble a deal for services and handsets. If 40 or more handsets are needed, review how the handsets, voice and data plans will be used within the company, short and long term; also consider buying 3rd party software to manage them. I recommend applying a mix of small and large volume shopping and negotiating to buy 6-39 services and handsets. ###

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