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Leeds City Council is to pilot a new telephone device that will enable flexible working while reducing the cost of phone calls

Leeds employees involved in the pilot, due to begin on 18 September 2006, will be given dual mobile phones that incorporate regular GSM and WiFi connectivity.

Calls made from these phones will connect via WiFi access points and be routed over existing fixed line infrastructure. Outside of the office the device will work like a regular mobile phone.

The solution, part of BT's Corporate Fusion Service, is expected to reduce the council's telephone bill.

Rakesh Mahajan, director of mobility for BT Global Services, told GC News: "Projected savings are dependent on the behaviour of the user. Users who travel a lot may find more benefits than those who just use a desk phone."

Council employees can also have access to their council's full telephone directories and a forwarding or recording call facility via their phones. This means, if the customer requires them to transfer the call to a colleague, they do not have to put the mobile down and ring back from a landline.

Leeds head of ICT operations Adrian Fegan said on 14 September 2006: "(This system) is an important part of our future overall voice strategy. It allows us to operate more efficiently by reducing our telecoms spend.

"Also it gives us the opportunity to be more responsive: our employees can be more mobile and contactable and as a result they can serve the city."

The pilot will run until the end of October.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

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