The mobile phone "is the hub" of small- to medium-sized businesses but the platform still suffers from coverage issues, says a report.
Research conducted by analyst Quocirca among 240 SMBs across the UK, France, Germany and Sweden has exposed the problems faced by firms when relying on mobile technology.
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The research, conducted on behalf of indoor base station firm RadioFrame Networks, found that more than a third of SMB staff have problems using their mobile phones at work, and even more so when working from home.
Yet for many, the mobile phone is their first preference when making a call, even when at a desk with a fixed phone on it.
The research also found that over half of firms have no plans to implement 3G phones, but 17% plan to introduce 3G laptops in the coming year, adding to the third that have already done so.
Rob Bamforth, an analyst at Quocirca, said, "The mobile phone has become the hub of business communications activity, and the vital link for the SMB workforce".
He said contact numbers and address books in a mobile handset mean that it is very often the default device for making calls, in or out of the workplace.
New communication tools such as mobile e-mail and browser access mean that mobile phone users are increasingly dependent on their phones, so coverage is an expectation, and the lack of it a frustration which can impact productivity, said Bamforth.
Mark Keenan, general manager EMEA at RadioFrame, said 3G services often found it difficult to penetrate buildings.
He said the deployment of indoor base station technology - namely picocells and femtocells - were a solution to the problem of mobile coverage.