New PGi Report Reveals the Smartphone as the Go-To Device for Unified Communications & Collaboration Services

Findings Reveal a 70 percent Decline in Users Accessing Meetings via Desk Phones in Past Five Years.

ATLANTA, February 21, 2018 – Today PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration solutions, published the results of research undertaken with Mobile World Live, which highlights that nearly half (44 percent) of mobile industry respondents rank the smartphone as their chosen device for unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) services in the next few years. Mobile World Live is the media arm of the GSMA.

This projected mobile growth contrasts with a decline of 70 percent in the past five years of desk phone usage for conference calls. In the past twelve months, 55 percent also stated that their desk phone usage for conference calls had declined.  After the smartphone, the other go-to-devices for UC&C services were the PC/laptop (43 percent), desk phone (9 percent) and tablet (four percent).

The PGi global report, entitled, “The Future of UC&C on Mobile,” showed that HD audio with background noise suppression is ranked as the most likely feature (43 percent) to encourage greater smartphone usage, followed by ease of access (25 percent), enhanced battery life (16 percent) and improved data plan usage (12 percent). The top network developments to drive future UC&C on mobile include improved network coverage (33 percent), enhanced call quality (29 percent), faster download speeds (13 percent) and enabling 5G (13 percent).

The findings also showed that mobile network operators (MNOs) or mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are most expected to drive the use of UC&C services on smartphones over the next five years (38 percent). This contrasts with 37 percent of respondents that consider Over-the-Top (OTT) application providers to be well positioned in this sector. The MNO lead could be due to their role in improving network coverage, enhancing call quality and their established UC&C expertise.

Frank Paterno, vice president, global carriers, PGi, said: “This global survey of mobile industry professionals shows that collaboration fuels enterprise success and that the smartphone is now the go-to device for UC&C services. At PGi, we have seen the number of mobile devices connecting to our flagship collaboration product, GlobalMeet®, significantly increase year over year. In fact, we’re estimating that over 50 percent of endpoints on our audio or web conferences will be from a smartphone by 2020. This survey and our own user data continue to prove that mobility is a standard professional tool that enables better productivity, more flexibility and powers global, digital workers to get more done from anywhere at any time.”

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend within the enterprise means that employees have access to a smartphone both at work and home, making it the obvious choice for communications.Smartphone adoption has grown exponentially, and further strong growth is expected. According to the GSMA Intelligence report, The Mobile Economy 2017, global smartphone connections are expected to rise by 1.9 billion from the end of 2016 to 5.7 billion by 2020.

Survey Background on “The Future of UC&C on Mobile:

The global report surveyed 333 mobile industry leaders on unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) with a focus on mobile usage. The largest segment of respondents included device and network equipment vendors (26 percent), followed by mobile operators (24 percent) and then MVNOs, fixed operators, business service resellers, software developers and mobile specialists (50 percent). The report provides insight into how operators and manufacturers around the world rate their UC&C experiences on a mobile device, and what impact current and emerging technologies will have on the future use of smartphones for UC&C services in the mobile enterprise. The report also explored the expectations that mobile devices and features, such as high-definition (HD) audio (or HD voice) play in improving the quality and usability of these services in the future. Additionally, the survey investigated attitudes towards the use of over-the-top (OTT) applications for UC&C. The survey ran during Q4 2017.

Check out the full report here.