1/7/2010 10:39:00 AM
Vodafone aims to push iPhone into business
Vodafone is bullish over the prospect of selling the iPhone into the UK business community, according to the company's enterprise director, Peter Kelly.
'There is a lot of demand for the iPhone in the enterprise marketplace, not only from SMEs, but public sector and corporate clients too,' Kelly told Mobile.
He added: 'But to be deployed in that market on any scale it will have to be seen as a strong business device; applications will be key here.'
Kelly believes that people need access to applications that will help their business be more productive, and the Apple App Store has many business critical applications already developed.
'Applications are the way into the enterprise market for the iPhone as they will help provide lower costs and drive productivity. The device does lend itself to a different way of working. The iPhone is a smartphone plus,' he said.
Vodafone believes the combination of the quality of the iPhone when used on its 3G network will provide people with the best customer service experience of any network.
Strong and reliable coverage will be crucial to the take up of the iPhone as a business tool. Kelly said: 'To make sure we can guarantee that service in as many places as possible we have our Vodafone Access Gateway product [a femtocell signal booster]. So long as you've got a Vodafone mobile with data access, you can get five bar coverage with a femtocell.'
The Access Gateway offering was originally conceived as a home consumer product, but Kelly said a significant number of SoHo and SME customers were also buying it.
'There will be ongoing development of the Access Gateway to extend its capacity to make it more applicable to SMEs. We will be rolling this out in significant volumes in 2010,' said Kelly.
Vodafone will begin to sell the iPhone from 14 January. It has chosen an initial list of 20 dealers to sell the handset through the indirect channel (see below).
Vodafone's indirect iPhone dealers
- CBS Comms Centre
- Cellular Solutions & Services
- CCS Mobile
- Excalibur Communications GB
- Garnell Corporate Comms
- Premier Telecom Ltd
- The General Telephone Co
- The Word Direct
- Active Telecom
- Fone Solutions
- JHL Communications
- Premier Mobile
- Pure Mobile
- Sprint Communications
- Wish Communications