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TeleWare makes telephony a little more cloudy

Mobile phone, fixed infrastructure

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TeleWare has launched an enterprise MVNO that routes every call through the office PBX, reducing the mobile carrier to a bit pipe at best.

The new offering – dubbed TeleWare Mobile, with all the panache typical of enterprise offerings – intercepts mobile calls at the operator to route them into the office systems, where all the usual rules and restrictions, including call recording and cheapest routing, can be applied.

Such systems aren't entirely new, but most require the user to dial into the office first, then enter the number they wish to call. That process can be automated, using a smartphone app, but even then there’s a perceptible delay in connecting which TeleWare's solution removes.

TeleWare has been in this business for a long time, creating unified phone systems and routing fixed calls onto mobile networks, but this is the first time it has managed to integrate with the operator's systems to capture the call from within the mobile network.

Not only that, but the system even works for roaming users: assuming the roamed-to network supports CAMEL (a control standard which enjoys widespread, if sometimes inconsistent, support). Roamed calls still pay roaming fees, but can be intercepted and rerouted to the office systems.

Incoming calls are made to a landline number, then rerouted to the best number in the usual way. TeleWare has its own low-power GSM licence which it already uses to provide in-office networks, but the idea now is that by extending the control of the enterprise BOFH out of the office, companies will be willing to shift more of their traffic onto mobile.

TeleWare tells us that about 25 per cent of business calls are made from mobiles at the moment, but companies want to increase that so they can do more hot desking and "increase employee density" – no more Kinder Egg toys or family photographs taking up valuable desk space.  Come November, the financial institutions will have to record every call too, which can usefully be done at the PBX.

But most interesting is the way that TeleWare Mobile routes every single call though the company server, so the mobile operator (Vodafone in this case) leases out its infrastructure with little opportunity to value add or upsell services. To some that's an important development in the evolution of mobile telephony, but to others it's a risk to their business model. ®

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