Mobile Business – Keeping connected

25 Mar 2011

In these increasingly mobile times, broadband connectivity has never been more important. DOIREANN McDERMOTT looks at some of the options available.

With faster home broadband speeds and 3G connectivity, executives now not only have freedom of movement, but have new ways of working and capturing and sharing data.

The right broadband connectivity is crucial for start-ups, virtual businesses and employees working from home. So what are the broadband options available to today’s home mobile worker, and what is coming down the lines?

Satellite Broadband

Satellite Broadband is an internet service provider (ISP) of broadband via satellite. Established in 2008, it is located in the Midlands and installs broadband in homes and in places of work.

Satellite Broadband also offers VoIP, wireless and satellite TV through its service division. Regardless of person’s location or whether or not they have a landline, they can access broadband through satellite.

The company says it has witnessed a significant increase in people working at home and a growth in home start-up businesses. It provides broadband in rural and semi-urban areas where it may have been difficult to access because of poor contention, high contention, wireless availability, or as a result of a phone line not being enabled.

Satellite Broadband currently offers a 3.6MB service, but says devices will be coming out in June that will offer 10MB all the way up to 40MB in the same areas.

“We can help home businesses through the guarantee and reliability of our services, allowing them to develop their businesses at home,” said chief executive Kevin Ryan. “With our future technology we will offer faster speeds and the price points will be similar as they are today in comparison to the PSL.”

Magnet Networks

Magnet is a fixed line provider, delivering broadband solutions to consumers and businesses in Ireland, that is independent of Eircom. For the last three years, it has been providing a telecopy solution that encompasses a hosted PPX, which is a cloud application.

The actual servers sit in the data centre, Magnet provides customers with handsets, and then the administrator can log onto the phone system via a web interface and configure handsets, voicemail, call routing, call queuing, report retrieval, and general businesses tracking and management. Traditionally, handsets had to be located in the office, but because the phone system is in the cloud, the handsets can be connected to any broadband link. This means that 80pc of telephones sitting in headquarters can offer a good quality broadband connection for remote offices or people working from home.

It provides the user with all the same functionalities, such as extension-to-extension dialling. The service also allows call centres to have people working from home with the same experience as if they are located in a 100-seat call centre.

“Fifteen to 20pc of our customers have some form of remote user. We have one large company that has 10 offices that is connected to a single PPX,” said Joe Lavin, product manager.

One of Magnet’s clients is the Haven Project, which is a charity organisation with offices in Dublin, but has handsets in Haiti which act as extensions. Magnet offers its services in most of Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Portlaoise.

Meteor, Vodafone, 3 and 02 currently offer 3G services, which allow higher speeds on mobile phones for accessing emails, surfing the internet and downloading or uploading data and video. A 3G compatible phone or data card is required to access the service.

3G handsets are available from 3, Vodafone and Meteor, and enable customers to watch music videos, enjoy video calls and messages, download 3D games and keep up to date with the latest sports video clip highlights, in addition to accessing higher speed internet.

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