Landline office phones to be obsolete by 2017

By Danny Palmer
29 Aug 2012 View Comments
Smiling old man on the phone

The traditional office desktop phone will become a thing of the past in less than five years, with smartphones set to become the primary business tool for communication by 2017.

That's according to a poll of CIOs by Virgin Media Business that supports recent Computing surveys indicating the increasing move towards bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace, and the growth in firms encouraging the use of smartphones.

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Computing's research shows that while employees aren't purchasing them with work in mind, eighty-four per cent of smartphone owners have used their device for work-related activities including emails, transferring documents to and from the network and even utilising enterprise applications.

While the office desktop phone is still an essential tool in most workplaces, many employers are seeing the benefits of smartphone use to such an extent that seventy-one per cent of firms provide them to staff.

With so many businesses funding the purchase of mobile phones – and likely to cover the bills too – paying telecommunications providers for line rental for a phone that's not even in use could rightly be seen as a waste of expenditure.

Indeed, putting the cost of line rental towards an investment in smartphones that offer the additional benefit of allowing staff to work on the go or from home is almost a no-brainer.

"Mobile connections to the internet are getting better by the day," said Virgin Media Business COO Tony Grace.

"Almost everywhere we go we're able to check-in at the office, social networking sites, or simply contact friends and family. Because of this, businesses have recognised the importance of the mini computers that smartphones have essentially become.

"This is leading us to rely increasingly on our smartphones and less on our landlines," he added.

The survey also found that 62 per cent of CIOs believe that PCs are the second most likely traditional office tool to disappear from the workplace, although this is a view that is vehemently rejected by some.

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