For many office workers, landlines are a redundant nuisance: one more voicemail account to check, one more thing to ring during a clandestine nap. But most office buildings wreak havoc on cell reception. New intra-office phone antennas, working as a cloud to smartly route traffic, might finally solve the problem, rendering landlines at long last unnecessary.
A company called SpiderCloud is about to introduce distributed antenna systems for small businesses, according to The Wall Street Journal. Enterprise-level customers have had access to these things for a while, but never before have they been as cheap and as easy for smaller businesses to get.
SpiderCloud's system sets up a series of WiFi/cellular access points across an office, tying them into a company's servers to route all the phone traffic through the Internet. The approach is similar with femtocells, little micro-antennas that some mobile phone companies are starting to lease to customers who live in poor-coverage areas.
The Journal says the main advantage to the SpiderCloud system is that it's smart enough not to route intra-office calls outside the building. If one employee calls another, the traffic stays within the SpiderCloud system; only excess phone traffic is externalized for routing. SpiderCloud is venture-backed with $36 million in the bank.