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Considerations for Business Use

Individual vs. Departmental Billing

NU faculty and staff can buy phones independently or as part of a departmental service plan. Departments with high mobile phone usage among members may want to look into a shared or group plan that places multiple lines on the same bill. To establish such a plan, departments must contact service providers directly. Northwestern Information Technology (IT) suggests that once a department has chosen a service provider, it should set up blanket purchase orders to streamline the payment process for these accounts.

Some benefits of departmental billing include the possibility of receiving unlimited minutes for calls made within the department network (between individuals set up on the departmental billing account). Contact your chosen local provider for more details.

Coverage Considerations

To identify the most appropriate coverage area, departments or individuals should consider how and where they will use their phone.

Using Cell Phones On Campus

Cell phone coverage on both campuses may be unreliable in certain areas. This is largely attributed to the University's proximity to Lake Michigan, which results in areas of poor coverage. In addition, signal strength often diminishes inside buildings both on- and off-campus. Inside many buildings, users are completely unable to receive a mobile phone signal. This may vary based on factors such as mobile phone service provider, phone manufacturer/model and where you are located within the building. Please consult with mobile phone users in your area on campus and/or use the trial period after purchasing a mobile phone to ensure that you are able to use your phone in desired areas.

Connecting with University Applications

Phones with Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or smartphone capabilities may allow faculty and staff to connect their mobile phones with essential applications, such as e-mail and calendaring programs.

Last Updated: 10 April 2017

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