O2 today announces Fixed Number Anywhere, a new service providing small businesses with a landline number that rings straight through to a mobile phone.

The first service of its kind to be offered in the UK by a major mobile operator, Fixed Number Anywhere allows small businesses to take incoming landline calls directly on a mobile phone. The service, which launches in August, has been designed for small businesses who maintain a landline number to show customers their business is local and established, but spend long periods away from their desk. By linking landline numbers directly to their mobile phone, Fixed Number Anywhere will help these businesses minimise missed calls while eliminating expensive call diverts.

It follows an extensive study conducted by O2, which revealed that despite small businesses spending record amounts of time out of the office, nearly 70 per cent still have a fixed landline number to their desk. Providing a sense of security for customers, being able to appear as a local business and presenting a well established image were identified as the key benefits of keeping a landline.

Businesses using Fixed Number Anywhere can keep their existing BT telephone number or choose from a new number with a local geographical or Free Phone code. Up to five landline numbers can be linked to the same mobile phone allowing small businesses to portray a local image, whilst extending their geographical reach.

To minimise missed call risk, each landline number can also be linked to up to ten different employee mobile phones. Known as a call group, calls can ring through simultaneously to all ten employees within the group or can be prioritised to individual numbers.

Recent customer research revealed that nearly four out of ten (36 per cent) small businesses have lost business opportunities as a result of missed calls and not responding to landline voice messages. A quarter of those questioned (25 per cent) cited that they now spend just an hour a day at their desks with one in ten spending an average of just 30 minutes. Generating new business and meeting existing customers in a determined bid to survive the recession was identified as behind the trend.

Simon Devonshire, Head of SME Marketing, O2, comments: ‘Desk phones were great when business was done from a desk but for the vast majority of small businesses the fixed nature of a landline is at odds with how they operate day to day. By converging a fixed landline number with a mobile service, small businesses can continue to maintain an image of being a local business, which is valued by customers, whilst maintaining the flexibility and mobility that has enabled them to adapt to and thrive in the current climate.’

Calls made to a mobile via the Fixed Number Anywhere service are not charged for by O2 and will be charged to the caller at their standard rate for the fixed number dialled. Businesses bringing an existing BT 01 or 02 landline number to O2 and taking a new mobile connection will receive the service for free. The service is available at a fixed price of £10 per month for 01 or 02 landline numbers and £15 per month for 0808 free phone numbers.

For more information visit O2.co.uk.

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