Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can a proposition be too good to be true?

You can slice a huge chunk off your phone bill, by cutting your landline to mobile call (L2M) costs by perhaps as much as 50%.

Typically you’ll pay between 6p and 20p per minute for a L2M call depending on your deal with your incumbent telephone service provider. For many businesses it’s around 10p/min.

Part of the reason for this is that there is flat charge of about 5.9p/min for transferring between the BT network and the mobile network, the rest is down to your usage level.

By installing a Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) hub to your telephone switch you can route calls to mobiles directly out onto the mobile network and avoid the BT network and the fixed 5.9p/min transfer charge.

The FMC hubs are basically a rack of mobile phones with smart software to handle the calls, monitoring and reporting. They are not cheap pieces of kit, and require a site survey and installation to ensure that there is good connectivity to the mobile network.

BUT you can get the kit installed FREE on a managed service basis if you sign up for a year with minimum commitment of 20k mobile mins/month. The price per minute depends on the monthly volume commitment and ranges from 3.5p/min to 5.5p/min, which is close to halving your cost. Even at 20k mins/month that could be worth over £12k per annum SAVED.

I’ve been looking for the “gotcha” …….

Maybe signing up for an annual commitment? But why wouldn’t you if you’re going to save over £10k in the year.

It only applies to businesses making a significant number of L2M calls per month? Well it’s not difficult to establish what your usage is – just take a look at your last quarters phone bill to see the L2M usage and the cost per minute.

What if it fails? or the connection to the mobile network is dropped? Well the system fails over back to routing via the PSTN, more expensive but no lost connectivity. It can even offer a backup for landline to landline calls if the PSTN network fails.

Is it legal? Yes, a FMC hub is even being used by the Ministry of Justice and a number of police forces!

Does it work with all mobile operators? The connection service is provided by Orange and works with all other networks.

With so much emphasis on cost savings why doesn’t everyone implement this?
Is it too good to be true?


Tom Foale said...

No, it is not too good to be true. The only problem is that if the local cell is busy then someone has to give way, so I suspect that your system will have a lower priority than calls from a mobile phone (which would otherwise be lost and make Orange look like it had pooer coverage). The system has been around for years but was frowned on for a long time - Vodafone even went as far as destroying the SIM's on one system and was successfully prosecuted for criminal damage, but I can't remember the details.

Simon MacKenzie-Smith said...

This is a fantastic way to save a significant amount of money. With the more advanced specialist suppliers you can benefit from multi site aggregation rather than a per site deployment. Be wary of a 'tin' sales approach as these systems have to be managed to avoid costly overrunns. There are also illegal operations!

If you choose a company that works with the operator and includes FOC monthly reporting then you will reap the savings and avoid the issues.

Touch Telecom is able to provide such solutios with references in both Government and Commercial sectors.