Poorly enforced mobile phone usage policies and a failure to utilise office WiFi networks are reportedly costing UK businesses £264 million in wasted mobile phone costs according to a new survey commissioned by ICT provider Damovo UK.

The survey of 100 IT directors at UK companies with more than 1,000 employees revealed that 42 per cent of mobile calls were being made by employees within the office.

With large businesses spending on average £209,000 each year on mobile costs, it is estimated that businesses in general could save millions of pounds each year by making better use of WiFi and the latest Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) technology.

The research highlighted the fact that many businesses need to have greater control over their mobile costs, have better enforced usage policies and be more intelligent when it comes to the routing of mobile calls.

“With mobiles, and particularly smartphones, becoming the device of choice and replacing the office phone as the primary business tool, many organisations are facing escalating mobile bills,” said Glyn Owen, portfolio manager at Damovo. “It is clear that organisations require greater control over their mobile costs whilst allowing end users the freedom to use their mobile phones wherever they choose.”

Around a third (37 per cent), of the IT directors surveyed admitted that they didn't look at their organisation's mobile bill each month. Just over three-quarters admitted they turned a blind eye to employees making personal or premium rate calls on their work mobile phone.

Despite most businesses having some form of WiFi network the research also revealed that only 14 per cent of them were using it to make voice calls.

“Organisations should ensure that calls are made using the most cost-effective method. With the latest FMC technology enabling calls to be routed free over existing public and private WLAN networks, and at same time provide enterprise PBX functionality, organisations can start to significantly reduce their mobile call costs,” added Owen.