Tom Brannen
Tom Brannen is the President of Wassaw Consulting LLC, an independent consulting firm based in Atlanta. With 20 years of...
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Tom Brannen | February 10, 2016 |


Capitalizing on New Mobile Pricing Plans

Capitalizing on New Mobile Pricing Plans Whereas the focus even a few years ago was on voice usage, the plans of today include unlimited voice and texting and focus purely on data usage.

Whereas the focus even a few years ago was on voice usage, the plans of today include unlimited voice and texting and focus purely on data usage.


Managing mobile expenses is one of those things that just doesn't look that difficult from the outside looking in. One only needs to pick a provider, negotiate a discount, and select plans for the users.

Piece of cake. Only the recipe for the cake changes every few months. As do the tastes of the users.

Thus is the life of those of us engaged in wireless expense management on a day-to-day basis; we know it is much more difficult than it appears. In fact, it has been so difficult for some organizations that many have thrown in the towel and moved to BYOD out of desperation.

But why is it that what seems to be so simple is actually so complicated?

The answer lies in the fact that the nature of mobile services is very different from wireline services. In the world of traditional wireline services, the two main elements affecting costs, usage patterns and pricing plans, are pretty static. The exact opposite is true on the wireless side: Usage patterns and pricing plans are constantly in flux. So to hit the bulls-eye and get things right, you have to aim for a moving target from a moving platform.

Usage Patterns

Fluctuating usage patterns is by far the largest challenge of managing wireless expenses. But it isn't just that usage changes; rather, it is the rate of change that makes things so difficult.

Just a few years ago, the average corporate user was mostly a voice user, only sending a handful of texts and using small amounts of data. Recently, we have seen a huge shift as text usage exploded. And now we are seeing data usage explode in the same way, as users are leveraging the functionality of their smartphones while out in the field. So we have gone from a voice-centric world, to a voice- and text-centric world, to a data-centric world in just a few short years. And some of the changes can even be measured in months.

Of course, the most ever changing and least predictable element is the international roamer. Their usage is sporadic and difficult to plan for as the usage patterns are dependent on where they are and what they are doing, along with huge variances of rates depending on what country they are in. Talk about a moving target.

These changes can wreak all kinds of havoc financially if you aren't staying on top of things. And the result is a continuously increasing trend line of expenses with huge spikes, both of which will garner an unpleasant call from the CFO.

Change in Service Plans

As usage patterns change, so do the carrier service plans. Whether it is to provide better options to customers or to drive profits, or both, service plans are in a constant state of change. Whereas the focus even a few years ago was on voice usage, the plans of today include unlimited voice and texting and focus purely on data usage.

The good news is that today we don't have to focus on three areas of usage, but can focus solely on managing data usage. If done correctly, the new plans can definitely save money over the older plans for most companies. The problem is that today's data usage trends show us that most users' data usage will double TWICE in the next 24 months. So special attention needs to be given to both the monthly increase of data as well as even newer pricing plans from the carriers ... or costs will begin to escalate significantly.

You can capitalize on new mobile pricing plans and reap significant savings. And this happens to be the subject of a panel discussion at the upcoming Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando, led by Michael Finneran, including myself and Joseph Schmidt. We will be exploring this topic in more depth and offering some expert "tricks of the trade" to help attendees capitalize on changes in the wireless industry.

Learn more about mobility trends and technologies at Enterprise Connect 2016, March 7 to 10, in Orlando, Fla. View the Mobility track sessions; register now using the code NJPOST to receive $200 off the current conference price.

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communications technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.


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