Mobile Phones for Small Businesses

Selecting the Right Network provider

The primary mobile phone networks in the UK are O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone and ‘3’. Other secondary providers, such as Virgin Mobile, operate their services through these networks. All the networks use the latest 3G technology, which transmits data at high speeds to enable you to surf the internet and receive and send emails, pictures and video clips (providing that you have a 3G phone).

Each network provider offers its own range of handsets and business packages. It’s worth shopping around and seeking advice from specialist mobile phone stores or from the network providers direct to find the package that most meets your business needs.

If you wish to change network, you can “port” or transfer your phone number.

Some considerations:

Coverage

Does the network provide coverage for the areas in which you intend to use your phone(s)? The networks claim to cover 99% of the UK, but it’s worth checking. Bear in mind that there are “blackspots” with no mobile coverage, such as in a valley, in the shadow of or inside buildings with dense or metallic construction.

International travel

If you regularly travel abroad on business it’s advisable to check on how many and which roaming agreements a network has, as these are necessary for you to make and receive calls on the networks in the countries you need. Check out discount schemes or special packages for frequent travellers. Check the costs carefully for receiving as well as sending calls. Beware – voicemail can be very expensive to use when travelling abroad.

Tariffs and Business Packages

Which network offers the package best suited to your business needs? Costs can be high, particularly those associated with web-based and data services. With a wide range of tariffs available, it’s important to consider what your needs are, then carry out extensive research and take advice from the networks’ business advisors. Most business packages are charged monthly and include phone handset rental and inclusive minutes and text bundles, as well as cheaper rates on certain calls. (Link to page on Selecting the most suitable tariff or business package)

Customer Service

This is crucial. If you are dependent on your mobile phone for your business, a broken or faulty handset or problem with the network can lead to serious headaches. Make sure you know what level of service you can expect. The network you select should provide:

  • Dedicated business customer service for all users to deal with queries or problems promptly and efficiently
  • Tariff flexibility with reviews to ensure your tariff still meets your business needs
  • Rapid repair or replacement of faulty or broken phones
  • Loan phones made available if yours is being repaired

Most of the major networks also include additional services such as insurance and free voicemail retrieval in their business service packages.

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