News comes of some big shifts beginning in the unified communications industry, as accountancy giant PwC is retiring landlines at its office desks, with all staff expected to use mobile devices exclusively by the autumn of this year. The firm, with 24 UK offices and around 18,000 members of staff, has said that it expects the move to handheld devices will make the company and its staff “more efficient”.
A select few landlines will remain at reception, in client meeting rooms and for use by security personnel. The company’s meetings will now use new conferencing technology which is able to connect to staff mobile devices.
Why is PwC moving away from fixed line phones?
“We already equip all of our people with a mobile phone, and many had already moved away from using their landlines,” said a spokesperson for PwC. “With landline usage falling rapidly, we believe that a more mobile-focused policy is a more efficient way of working.”
How has the use of landlines changed in recent years?
It is certainly true that the use of fixed line phones has fallen significantly in recent years. Some small businesses have already abandoned landlines in favour of handheld devices, but PwC’s actions represent one of the first instances of a large organisation making such a move.
In 2010, UK businesses had more than 10 million landline numbers, according to a survey by Ofcom. Since then, however, this has changed dramatically, with the number of landline numbers falling by 35% by the end of 2017, to just 6.4 million.
In addition to this, the amount of time spent using landlines has dropped even more significantly. In 2010, UK businesses conducted 38 million minutes’ worth of calls, a number which had halved to just 18.8 million minutes by the start of 2018.
This shift towards mobile devices is also reflected in residential use. In 2010, UK households made a total of 90 million minutes’ worth of landline calls. By the end of last year, however, this had fallen by over half to just 35 million minutes.
Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has shown that the number of mobile broadband subscriptions rose by 80 million in 2017, which represented a 6% increase on the previous year.
Is PwC the only firm to be making this change?
Another large accountancy firm has made a similar move to that of PwC. KPMG has disconnected the desk phones of around 5,000 employees, who now have to make and receive voice calls via a desktop application linked to a headset.
Seeking Advice from a Unified Communications Consultant
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