We saw a really interesting article over on VON here about the decline of landlines in the USA, this got us thinking about some predictions we remember from the recent past.
Wth the explosion of mobile phone use and when WiFI was becoming popular it became clearly expected that all offices would become mobile and that fixed networks and PBX systems would die, to be honest we were believers in this. Mobile and WiFi has clearly had an effect on the way we do business but no where near to the extent that was predicted, desk users still prefer a PBX phone and a monitor, full size keyboard and mouse so for the majority of users not much has changed. For casual office users such as those on the road or home workers then their use of office technology has been made much easier and the growing use of FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) has meant their mobile phone can become an extension of the PBX when they are in the office.
For sure landlines re reducing as many new house owners do not bother getting a line connected and the growth and improvements in mobile broadband mean a user does not need an ADSL line, however we cannot believe that fixed land line use will die 100% as there is still a place for such technology.
We all remember watching old sci-fi films that showed the future (as in now) with us all driving flying cars and of course the reality is somewhat different !
A few weeks ago there was real talk about a new directory enquiry service that would allow you to find out mobile numbers for individuals – lots of people were talking about how to opt out of the service so you were ex directory.
The service is provided by 118 800 and it seems the service has been temporarily suspended, we had a look over on their website www.118800.co.uk and there is a statement as follows :
’118 800 mobile phone connection service is currently unavailable
We are undertaking some major developments to our ‘Beta Service’ to improve the experience for our customers. So the service isn’t available at www.118800.co.uk or by phone. We’ll be back as soon as possible .
All ex-directory requests made by people in our directory to date are being processed. There will be no need to resend these requests. And we will take further ex-directory requests when the service resumes. We will not be taking ex-directory requests by phone or text whilst the service is unavailable.’
Rumours on various sites say the service had to be taken down due to a large number of ex directory requests – most people I know did this but it seems to be fair to 118 800 that the service offered is not an open directory but merely a call filtering system, it seems calls are filtered and you can choose to accept a call or not after receiving a text.
It will be interesting to see if this service will be succesful – it looks like general business SPAM calls will not use it as it costs £1-00 to get a number request.
From time to time when we are installing a mobile GSM or 3G gateway we find some remote sites with poor mobile coverage and it would be useful to know what mobile base stations there arte in the area.
Ofcom provide a very useful site Sitefinder’ Mobile Phone Base Station Database that allows you to put your poscode in and see what base stations there are in your area.
This site has helped us a few times to pick the best provider in an area where coverage is patchy at best.