T-Mobile launches unified communications service in B2B push

T-Mobile USA is making a major push into the business-to-business market, offering a new unified communications suite for enterprises as well as a device financing program. The beefed up B2B offerings are part of the carrier's broader strategy to expand its presence in the B2B market and challenge Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S).

T-Mobile's "Office Connect" unified communications solution allows businesses to integrate their office and mobile phone systems. The suite connects to T-Mobile's network and extends desk phone capabilities to mobile phones. Thus, employees can have only one phone number and a single voicemail box to manage. Office Connect also allows companies to route international calls using the least expensive option and have mobile long-distance calls billed at business rates. T-Mobile said the service will help businesses cut down on costs by minimizing the need for things like PBX upgrades and software licenses.

The Office Connect product is available nationwide and T-Mobile is offering it as a managed service for $9.95 per month per line, including hardware, software licenses and installation.

"Today, mobile devices are critical extensions of an organization's business infrastructure. Therefore, making and protecting strategic mobile investments are more pivotal than ever before," said Frank Sickinger, T-Mobile's senior vice president of B2B. "Our new unified communications and equipment financing solutions demonstrate T-Mobile's commitment, as the 'Un-Carrier,' to challenge the status quo for our B2B customers."

Another part of the B2B offerings is what T-Mobile is calling its Mobile Device Payment Solution. Companies will have the ability to finance the cost of devices over time and at no interest once they are approved for credit. Qualified enterprise customers can finance their upfront device costs through CFS, a third-party lender that specializes in commercial financing for mobile.

T-Mobile made expanding its B2B presence a major priority in 2012, and the strategy included hiring 1,000 more business sales representatives, increasing the company's distribution channels and beefing up its marketing and advertising. The carrier has been in the B2B and enterprise markets for more than a decade but has less than 10 percent market share.

For more:
- see this release
- see this T-Mobile site
- see this PhoneScoop article

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