A three-way initiative between Vodafone Australia, Cisco and Research In Motion (RIM) is to launch an integrated business communications services in Australia known as Vodafone Business One.
Starting later this year, it will combine all telecommunication services – fixed and mobile, voice and data, services and equipment – into one managed service with single-point accountability on installation, technical support and fleet management and one monthly invoice.
The service will be focusing primarily on small-medium sized businesses of between 10 to 100 employees.
By using Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry smartphones along with Cisco Wi-Fi and IP-PBX in the office, Vodafone Business One customers will be able to make calls within the office zone at fixed-line rates, while making calls outside the office via the Vodafone mobile network.
Both fixed and mobile calls will be covered by a single account-level service fee.
BlackBerry smartphones can automatically select Wi-Fi as the preferred transmission method to send and receive calls and emails, as well as access other data applications, when in the office.
Customers can choose to use IP phones or their BlackBerry dual-mode smartphones while in the office.
Russell Hewitt, CEO at Vodafone Australia described the service as its most significant strategic play since the launch of 3G services three years ago.
“With the announcement of Vodafone Business One, Vodafone has evolved from being a ‘mobile-only’ provider, to the world of full-service telecommunications services, enabling Vodafone to bring the principles of innovation and competition it has delivered in the mobile space to the fixed-line arena,” he said.
Hewitt said the service offered a genuine alternative to spending money on traditional, fixed-lines with costly line rentals.
Vodafone says that it will begin a progressive rollout of Vodafone Business One over the coming months to small and medium-sized enterprises in New South Wales before extending the service to customers in all major business centres by the end of the year.