In this essay we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both a cellular network and landline network in an enterprise environment. Both offer great advantages and both have their disadvantages. However, most organizations use both due to the fast paced, technologically advanced society we live in today. As stated above, most companies use both landlines and cellular networks. The reason for this is because of the flexibility this configuration offers. They get the reliability of the landline network and the mobility and functionality of the cellular network.
But, doing this offers pro’s and con’s when compared to one another. When using a cell phone network you will have a choice between two types of phones, GSM or CDMA. Both are a great choice but each have their uses. When a company choses to go with an all cellular network they should pick one of the above two based on the needs of the company. GSM offers the ability to be completely integrated into other networks around the world. All you would need to do is change out the SIM cards in the phones. You might even get a lower rate on your phone when you change them.
Unfortunately you have fewer options when it comes to data with GSM. CDMA offers much more options. With the advent of CDMA or Code division multiple access, cellular networks have become far more reliable. As opposed to GSM, CDMA filters out background noise, cross-talk, and interference so you can enjoy crystal-clear voice quality, greater privacy, and enhanced call quality. QUALCOMM’s CDMA variable rate vocoder translates voice into digital transmissions, zeroes and ones, at the highest translation rates possible (8kbps or 13kbps). This allows for crystal clear voice and also maximizes your system capacity.
CDMA’s spread spectrum signal provides the greatest coverage in the wireless industry, allowing networks to be built with far fewer cell sites than is possible with other wireless technologies. Fewer cell sites translate to reduced operating expenses, which results in savings to both operators and consumers. CDMA networks are built with standard IP packet data protocols. Other networks require costly upgrades to add new data equipment in the network and will require new data phones. Standard cdmaOne phones already have TCP/IP and PPP protocols built into them.
You can leave your phone on with CDMA. CDMA uses power control to monitor the amount of power your system and handset need at any time. CDMA handsets typically transmit at the lowest power levels in the industry, allowing for longer battery life which results in longer talk time and standby time. CDMA handsets can also incorporate smaller batteries, resulting in smaller and lighter-weight phones. Easier to carry. Easier to use. CDMA’s patented “soft handoff,” method of passing calls between cells sharply reduces the risk of disruption or dropped calls during a handoff.
The process of soft handoff leads to fewer dropped calls as 2 or 3 cells are monitoring your call at any given time. But, there are still disadvantages to using a pure cellular. For starters, you will not always have coverage country or worldwide. It will depend on the type of phones your company will have as part of the network. Such as CDMA which is only limited to North America and certain parts of the world. GSM is interchangeable with other providers, if they still use SIM cards. But sadly, in North America most companies are quickly moving to CDMA.
Another very distinct disadvantage is you have to rely on battery life which will only usually last for 6 – 12 hours without continuous use. Where-as a fixed landline pulls its power from the phone line itself. Data connections too are not always at their peak with mobile devices. Lastly, wireless networks are susceptible to interference, such as radiation and electronic cross talk. Next we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages to a landline network. Land line phones can be more reliable than their cellular counterparts. Disconnected cables can disable land lines, but these problems are easily remedied.
On the other hand, cellular phones are plagued by several different issues because they rely on a network of radio waves, cellular towers and satellites. In some areas, cellular service is plagued by dropped calls and fuzzy reception. The reliability of land line phones makes them advantageous when it comes to emergencies. For example, if someone is hurt and needs immediate medical care, you do not have to worry about contending with poor reception. Land lines also provide a fixed location that emergency responders can rush to. On a cell phone, you must state your address or describe your location, which wastes precious time during a crisis.
Many users find that land line phones are more comfortable to use than cell phones. The larger size of a land line phone allows users to more easily cradle the phone between their head and shoulder. This frees the hands for other activities, such as cleaning, cooking or typing. Because data is transmitted via a fixed medium, land line phones are more secure than cell phones. Special equipment can easily intercept cell phone conversations, which are transmitted freely through the air via radio waves. Bugging devices are needed to intercept land line conversations, and these devices must be physically installed in the phones or phone wires.
In general, land line phones are much less expensive than their cellular counterparts. The setup costs, hardware costs and calling costs of cell phones are all typically higher. Most land line phone service providers offer free local calls. But with all the advantages there are a few disadvantages. Firstly you have restricted mobility. With a fixed landline phone, you cannot make calls when on the move. Even with cordless phones, your mobility is restricted to certain areas in the house where reception is clear. Also, if you are using a landline sparingly, the monthly rental might actually be a burden to you.
Lastly, you get very few services with the basic landline apart from caller ID, call waiting and three-way calling. Unless you are using a service such as a homegrown service like Talkswitch, you will be severely limited in what you are able to do. In conclusion and in my opinion, a hybrid system would be the best choice for any size business. The cost may be higher with both services, but not only do you get the reliability with the landline, you get the flexibility and mobility of a cellular network. This allows you to receive data on the go, especially if you are an IT consulting firm with clients spread out over a great distance.
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