O2 Ireland has announced a new service that will allow employers to control the amount of money they spend on mobile calls by allocating employees’ personal calls to a separate account.
Essentially a dual account service, Group Worker is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and corporate customers manage their mobile communications costs and streamline and improve the transparency of their mobile bills.
O2 says the service is the first of its kind in Ireland and is currently undergoing trials until the end of January 2003.
The service represents an investment of €1m by O2 in Ireland.
According to the company, Group Worker will save businesses from having to pick up the bill for the personal calls of employees.
Credit top-up for the employee’s personal account will be available via ATM and voucher/recharge cards at launch and credit card top-up is planned for later next year. While personal calls will be billed on O2’s pre-paid system, tariffs will be comparable to O2’s business post-paid tariffs.
The service will also enable employees to prefix an extension number to connect to a colleague’s mobile phone number.
A ‘self care’ function will be provided from launch via a web-based management system, allowing companies to manage or amend their own short dial service without having to contact O2.
Product director of O2, Campbell Scott said: “By effectively separating personal calls from those made for business reasons, Group Worker affords business customers a high level of control over their mobile communications spend.”
“This benefit, coupled both with the convenience offered by the short dial functionality, has generated keen interest from our SME and corporate customers,” he added.
A spokeswoman for O2 told siliconrepublic.com that the service had been developed independently of businesses and was intended to help streamline the mobile payment service for companies.
No tariffs have yet been set and the spokeswoman said that O2 would be consulting on the service with business interest groups down the line.
The service will be commercially available to SME and corporate customers from February 2003.
By Suzanne Byrne