Nowadays cellphones can be used for about anything. Multi-functionality built in and for everyday lower prices.
Some costs have to be made anyhow: Costs for calling, messaging, browsing, up- and downloading, costs for being called when abroad, and (with most network providers) costs for listening to one’s voicemail.

A lot of people have their mobiles stand-by day and night. In that circumstance, the only reason their voicemail will answer a call instead of themselves, is when they were too late to answer or by being on another line. Anyhow, their phone is ON at that certain moment.

As answering a phone call does not cost the receiver anything, why not let the call be answered by a built-in answering machine?

Most phones have recording options, have MP3 record and playback functions and storage is no issue either.
Where a profile can be easily programmed to automatically answer a call (like with most profiles when a headset is attached), it should be no problem to answer a call say 1 second before it is discarded (normally after 45 seconds when no voicemail activated) and redirect it to the cellphones local answering machine.

The only reason to have a voicemail that is stored outside the cellphone itself, is to be reachable indirectly when the phone is switched off or when you are out of reach (for the network this is the same).
So it is only logical to receive calls on a locally built-in answering machine… your cellphone’s own voicemail.

Why have our network providers charged us with all these extra costs while only 1/3 of the functionality (cell phone off/unreachable) is actually needed? Sure, the option of the functionality should remain, but it should not be the only and default configuration.
This way one can choose to have the outsourced service and pay for it… or not.
What it should look like:

  • 1 extra functionality to the cellphone that influences both soft- and hardware
  • Options to set welcome-/greeting-message for local voicemail
  • Separate storage capacity for recorded messages
  • Playback options
  • Share options (send to your email or someone else)
  • UMTS prepared: Might think on recording video messages
  • Assign caller groups to voicemail redirection
  • Possibility of “Please hold the line” personalized message when queueing a second line

Pros:

  • Saving $$$ by not making yet another call in order to reach the voicemail
  • Total control of functionality
  • Virtually no time-limit (depending on storage capacity cellphone)
  • Possibility to listen to message being spoken in and ability to pick up the call anyhow
  • Easy sharing
  • Being independent of your network-provider

Cons:

  • Yet another functionality to your phone… =)

The idea is really simple, therefor it is darn hard for me to understand why this option has not been picked up by any of the cellphone manufacturers.

What do YOU think? Good/Bad idea? Feasible? Suggestions for other functionalities?
Share your thoughts!

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