Companies are more likely to give staff a mobile phone than upgrade a fixed voice system.

That’s one of the findings of a report by Analysys Mason, which concludes that mobile substitution will have a far bigger impact on fixed enterprise voice spend than the credit crunch.

The adviser to the telecoms, IT and media industries predicts a 15 per cent decline in fixed voice spend next year as a result of mobile substitution.

In its report, Fixed–mobile convergence in enterprise voice in Europe: forecasts 2008–2013, Analysys Mason notes that fixed voice providers will find that the global financial crisis will reduce enterprise fixed voice spend by 1–2 per cent.

Ultimately, however, mobile substitution will have a far bigger impact on enterprise voice spend.

The report’s author, Margaret Hopkins, said enterprises were finding it cheaper to give staff mobile phones for all their calls than to put a new VoIP phone on a desk.

“In addition to this, the financial crisis will increase pressure to conserve cash and make it even less likely that enterprises will install a VoIP PBX when their old phone system ceases to be supported by the vendors,” she said.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Spend on FMC services, where the mobile phones are seamlessly integrated into the enterprise voice system, will grow at a CAGR of 41% between 2008 and 2013, albeit from a low base, while spend on standalone mobile and fixed voice services will decline by 9% and 15% respectively over the period.
  • The economic downturn will boost demand for hosted voice services that eliminate the need for infrastructure investment and deliver short-term cash benefits.
  • Because mobile call prices for enterprise customers have fallen to the point where there is little incentive to push calls onto the fixed network, dual-mode cellular Wi-Fi phones are losing their appeal.
  • Enterprises are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of presence management systems, partly as a result of the arrival of Microsoft OCS, and will start to look for presence information systems for both fixed and mobile phones in new deployments.

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