November 2009

International Refurbished Telecom Market

Refurbished Telephone Equipment: An International Perspective

By: Veda Informatics

Have you been planning on purchasing advanced communication systems for your company? Has the high cost deterred you? Are you counting your pounds/dollars wondering how you will afford this necessity? The answer to your worries is refurbished telecom equipment. Contrary to the popular notion, remanufactured or refurbished telecom equipment can give you 100% satisfaction and follow similar quality standards as a new product. Moreover, your company would be doing its bit in protecting the environment and minimizing electronic waste. On one hand, you need to cut costs to remain competitive and on the other the “go green” concept can position your company as a responsible citizen. Buying refurbished telecom equipment is the new trend in the business fraternity.

Harmful Impact of Electronic Waste from Telephone Sets

Communication is as important for a business as breathing is for living. The significance of communication has increased with the world shrinking to a global village. With information becoming the most crucial element to making money, people across the world have begun to use telecom equipment extensively. The large production volumes of telecom equipment are a sign of the high characterized by extensive demand. However, a large part of this demand is not influenced by need. Dynamic trends in technology and stylistic innovations contribute significantly towards the piles of telecom equipment waste, causing irreparable environmental damage. Market studies indicate that communication systems, such as computers, cell phones and telecom equipment, are the biggest contributors to electronic waste.

Most of the obsolete telecom equipment finds a place in the landfills along with other domestic waste. In an attempt to address the growing environmental concern of such harmful trends, the European Union passed the Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. This placed emphasis on the recycle and reuse of obsolete electronic equipment. The directive requires telecom equipment manufacturers to ensure the recovery of obsolete telecom equipment and pursue either recycling or refurbishment processes for reuse. In relation to telecom or cell phone equipment, the directive has laid down the following instructions:

  • % per weight of the cell phone must be recovered. The term recovery refers to recycling of the manufacturing material as well as energy recovery.
  • 65% per weight should be reused or recycled.
  • Only 25% per weight of the phone can be disposed off.

Refurbishing Telephone Equipment for Reuse

European countries have always been environmentally conscious and are now placing huge emphasis on the remanufacturing or refurbishment of telecom equipment as the most viable solution for reducing electronic waste. In line with the US industry, third-party businesses are playing a major role in this process. They ensure the recovery of telecom waste and proper refurbishing treatment of the equipment. Refurbishing activity is difficult for cell phone devices due to the popularity of different technologies, such as GSM, CDMA, TDMA or IDEN, at different regions. However, there is no such restraint with telecom equipment and Carrier equipment. By employing effective technology, the refurbishing industry has become a competitive business field.

Buying Refurbished Vs. New Telecom Equipment

Most organizations require several pieces of telecom equipment to ensure proper communication between employees and remote business units. Refurbished telecom equipment is the most economic option for businesses looking to save money without compromising on quality. Buying refurbished telecom equipment is similar to buying a brand new product from the market, but at a lower cost. All refurbished telecom equipment come with a guarantee period to overcome quality concerns. The marketing of these products takes place through sales agents or through websites. An ideal distributor would help the client in:

  • Determining the number of telecom systems required at the location.
  • Deciding whether to use single-line or multi-line systems.
  • Choosing service features, such as muting, hold tune or messages, to be enabled in the telecom equipment.

Some refurbish telecom equipment dealers also provide free on-site repairs as part of their client servicing. Moreover, using refurbished telecom equipment help organizations to earn “green” credits by reducing the carbon footprints.

Refurbishing Telecom Equipment: Case Study

In the absence of set standards, different companies follow different processes for the refurbishment of telecom equipment and Carrier Equipment. Some remanufacturers simply clean the product and package it in a new box. However, quality service providers such as MF Communications (www.mfcomm.co.uk) ensure that every pixel of the display screen and every element work and the equipment is optimized for 100% functionality.

Case Study: The Process

To ensure quality products and optimum durability, companies like MF Communications adhere to the following steps:

  • Purchase used handsets, line cards and systems for both PBX and carrier equipment from a variety of sources and test them thoroughly for probable defects. Typically, telecom equipment has two defects – damage to the physical body casing or issues in the working of the internal printed circuit board. The defect detection process begins with basic troubleshooting, such as checking the dial tone, display of the LCD screen and functioning of the keypad. Subsequently, the telecom equipment is unscrewed to check
    internal circuits. All other equipment is visually checked and is tested through testing stations.
  • Faulty or damaged components in the printed circuit board are replaced with new and functional units.
  • As the PBX equipment becomes fully functional, it is reassembled with all new housing, cords and keypads,while maintaining the same circuit in good working condition.
  • Once the assembling has been completed, the equipment is tested thoroughly for 100% functionality.
  • The remanufactured product is checked for industry standards and provided a serial number.
  • On sending out any refurbished telecom equipment to its new owner all equipment is tested a third time, the almost-new telecom equipment, cards and exchange equipment is packaged in new original boxing with along with all industry labels, along with all the essential literature documents, for the purpose of reselling.

Thus, MF Communications follows a stringent process to maintain the functionality similar to that of a brand new product. However, the law does not allow them to be labelled as a new product, so the product is marketed as refurbished equipment.

How a Refurbished Telecom Equipment Dealer Succeeds

With 15 years of experience with refurbished telecom equipment, MF Communications is one of the most trusted brands around the world. Located in the south of the UK, MF Communications offers telecommunication solutions, including PBX and Carrier needs, to a large customer base spanning over 80 countries.

It is important to have a team of expert telecom advisers and technicians, which ensures that your company adheres to top quality standards for refurbished telecom equipment. To end scepticism in the consumer’s mind with respect to the performance of a remanufactured product, companies should offer at least a one year warranty on every sale. The quality standards of the remanufactured products at MF Communications are evident from the fact that even the original companies prefer to buy the products for resale.

Feedback and post-purchase support is highly important. A company should offer personalized services to every client. Each order at MF Communications tracked at a customized level to ensure client satisfaction. The company also offers quality after-sales service with prompt repairing or replacement in case of any major defect.

MF Communications has joined the “go green” bandwagon and its manufacturing process complies with the WEEE standard. The company ensures that the inferior quality components are recycled for reuse and nothing goes to landfill sites. Thus, buying refurbished telecom equipment, systems and a vast range of switching and transmission equipment allows you to save money with no compromise as well as contribute towards environmental protection.

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