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In-house mobile phone networks could bring 20% telecoms savings

Cliff Saran
Companies could make significant savings by creating mobile phone networks in their offices, mobile phone supplier Nokia has claimed.

To set up a local mobile phone network would require a company to install a mobile base station in its building. The network would allow free calls within the building and use wireless communication standards such as Bluetooth and 802.11.

According to Nokia, organisations that use mobile phone technology for all their corporate telephone needs could save as much as 20%, compared to traditional phone networks. However, the necessary technology is still a couple of years away.

"We can tell where a user is making a call and allow free calls within the user's home network," said Joe Barrett, director for industry marketing at Nokia. A second tariff would be levied on users making calls into the office, and a higher tariff would be charged for normal mobile phone calls.

By using location-based services in conjunction with a local base station, Barrett said the Nokia approach to mobile communications is superior to traditional phone exchanges and other alternatives designed to allow roaming between mobile phone networks.

Barrett said the disadvantage with roaming between 802.11 wireless networks and mobile phone networks is that a call is suspended when the user moves between the two types of network. This would not happen if all calls were made over a mobile network, he said.

In terms of future mobile devices, Barrett said users should expect to see devices and networks that support faster networks based on the HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) standard, which provides network bandwidth of 10mbps for downloading and 6mbps for uploading data.

In the next couple of months Nokia is set to introduce an updated version of its 6800 corporate mobile phone, which will include client software from Research In Motion to allow the phone to send and receive e-mail in the same way as Research In Motion's popular Blackberry device.

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