Balancing Act for Enterprises; Managed Mobility and Unlimited Plans 

Data Usage is on the Rise                                                                                                                                                      The mobile revolution has visibly transformed the digital ecosystem. Over the past few decades, mobile devices have worked their way into the daily lives of almost all of us and have become an essential tool for communication, information, and work productivity alike.  To say that data usage has increased is an understatement.  Faster phones running more applications using more bandwidth has increased just about everyone’s usage.

Carrier rate plans have kept up with the rise in data consumption offering enterprises many options to choose that if utilized correctly can keep your per unit costs as low as possible.  These plans include individual, shared or pooled and unlimited rate plans. Performing the balancing act to find what is best for your enterprise is not magic, but it does take focus and sometimes help from the experts in the field.

Why Unlimited Data Plans May Not be Cost-Effective                                                                                            Unlimited consumption plans seemed to be the answer we were all searching for. No longer would we worry if we had enough data or dread the unthinkable overage charge that can bring a wireless administrator to their knees. Because of the ease of unlimited plans, many people thought they needed an unlimited plan to be free to consume all the content they could.  However, the truth is that one size does not fit all and, if fact, can contribute to wasting thousands of dollars on unnecessary carrier fees.

In the early days of smartphones, public Wi-Fi was not as widespread as it is today. Most public spaces offer some sort of guest Wi-Fi, which renders the use of cellular data less necessary, as you can surf the web and use apps using Wi-Fi rather than data.  Corporate wireless policies and employees’ behavior have learned to take advantage of available Wi-Fi access, especially when traveling. Do you have a mobility policy that addresses use of Wi-Fi?

Most people have no idea how much data they use – many may not use enough data to merit an unlimited plan. Also, many unlimited plans cap high-speed data at around 20-25 GB, which is far more than most people use. The average person uses less than 6 GB of data per month, and many people use even less than that.

Now extrapolate this into an enterprise mobility program and see why it’s likely not cost effective for the business to pay for an unlimited data plan for all employees.

Mobile Usage for the Enterprise                                                                                                                                                Unlimited data plans may not be cost-effective for businesses because they typically come with higher monthly fees compared to plans with data caps. While an unlimited plan may seem attractive, it may not actually be necessary for many businesses that have predictable or low data usage.

Additionally, unlimited data plans often come with certain restrictions, such as reduced speeds or throttling once a certain amount of data has been used. This can result in slower data speeds during peak usage times, which may negatively impact business operations.

When deciding the data plans your employees need, you must examine the usage habits individually and together as a group.  This will allow you to protect the overall enterprise while identifying users that can benefit from individual, shared or pooled and unlimited plans. For example, employees who work in an office may not require as much data as employees who are frequently on the road or working remotely. In these cases, businesses could save money by selecting plans that are tailored to each employee’s needs.

During the pandemic, we saw enterprises experience significant decreases as employees worked exclusively from home utilizing Wi-Fi while other organizations saw significant increases in data usage as their employees did not have Wi-Fi sufficient to support their business needs.

Overall, businesses should carefully consider their data usage needs and evaluate their options before selecting an unlimited data plan. Depending on their needs, a plan with a data cap may be a more cost-effective and practical solution for your employees, rather than unlimited.

Unlimited vs. Shared or Pooled                                                                                                                                  Managing wireless rate plans is not something you should expect of your employees.  They are not close enough to know what is best nor will they always have the time.  It is the job of the Wireless Program Manager to manage this process.  Also, while your carrier will offer to help “optimize” your rate plans, they will find some savings, but rarely will they complete a forensic review identifying the best option available.

By utilizing real data consumptions metrics together with having the best available rate plans, features, and discounts at your disposal you can align your employees’ actual consumption resulting in thousands of dollars of cost savings and avoidance.  The need to monitor consumption and constantly adjusting plans and features needs to be monthly as your employees’ usage is always changing.

Help Managing Wireless Expenses                                                                                                                                    Since 2002, OVATION has been supporting enterprises with our comprehensive Managed Mobility Services. One of our core strengths is performing initial and ongoing wireless audit and rate plan optimizations that ensure your wireless usage is aligned to the best available rate plans, features, and discounts.  Our optimizations are completed twice monthly, and results are tracked at the line level.  Contact OVATION Wireless to find out how we can help with your wireless rate plans and all your wireless program needs.