BYOD Is Great, But It Doesn’t Make Data Any Cheaper
The recent move toward bring-your-own-device corporate mobile phone management has relieved lots of organizations of having to outfit employees with new hardware every couple of years. And employees get to use the phones they’re already familiar with. On paper, it’s a win-win.
But now that companies — and workers — are starting to settle in to this new BYOD world, both sides are gaining some new insights into just how expensive mobility really is. And simply put, mobile data charges aren’t going away, no matter who’s footing the bill.
Bill shock raising questions
As more companies shift mobile billing responsibilities away from the IT and finance departments and into the hands of individual employees, many are starting to feel like they’re getting ripped off by restrictive data plans and anomalous charges. And they’re starting to demand answers.
“If you work in a BYOD-enabled company and you’re paying your own bill, then you’d better renegotiate your deal,” ZDNet columnist Ken Hess explained. “Paying $20, $30 or $50 extra per month for a required data plan is ridiculous and we, as a customer collective, need to revolt against this egregious pocket-picking by cell phone companies.”
But before a populist revolution takes place, employees are much more likely to seek out the mobile cost optimization wisdom of their IT department. And if they haven’t done so already, more companies could end up footing the bill through a reimbursement strategy. This does not mean the mobile data issues simply fade away, however.
Although business executives will likely be used to undertaking wireless expense management from their time handling company-provisioned BlackBerrys in the early days of enterprise mobility, the game has since changed. With many still struggling to handle roaming and data allocation issues that were already around in a strictly 3G world, the rapid expansion of super-high-speed 4G networks and rise of tablets and video consumption have presented a whole host of opportunities for employees to send mobile expenses soaring.
A growing problem
As Verizon continues to spread its 4G LTE blanket across more U.S. metropolitan hubs, companies are starting to realize the impact these super-fast connections can have on their monthly bills. And according to the latest forecast from Ericsson, 3G and 4G could be the only players on the world’s wireless stage in a few years’ time.
Analysts noted that 40 percent of all international mobile phone shipments this past quarter were of Internet-enabled devices. Additionally, mobile data traffic is expected by grow by a factor of 15 between now and the end of 2017. With carriers looking to make up revenue lost in recent years following the decline of voice traffic, companies and their employees will have to be careful to avoid costly traps.
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user Small_Realm.