The mobility madness of enterprises’ wireless bills

It’s official: we have survived March Madness – the heart-stopping games, the countless hours spent in front of the television, the friendly banter among friends and family, and the endless usage of mobile devices (and data) to catch every second of the action and stay updated at all times.

This year, the NCAA Final Four proved yet again to be a time when many people (yes, employees, and yes, maybe even while “on the clock”) are live-streaming video and tuning into feeds for nail-biting basketball and last-minute buzzer-beaters.

It’s always one of the craziest times in sports, with fans watching, posting, sharing and tweeting at a fast pace from their (corporate-liable) mobile devices.

As an enterprise, how does one manage the data usage and, equally important, the associated costs of data-overage charges? Easy: by utilising a Managed Mobility Services (MMS) provider.

During last year’s NCAA basketball tournament, more than 1.3 terabytes of data were consumed in just one weekend’s worth of games, according to MobileSportsReport.com. And, may I remind you, weekends start on Thursday afternoons in the world of March Madness. With basketball fans streaming games live from their mobile devices at a rapid rate, they can in turn churn through 500 MB to 1 GB of data very quickly, resulting in overages and potential roaming charges.

One MMS customer alone was able to cut its per-line costs by nearly half last year, thanks to gaining visibility and control over the data being used by its employee base. By leveraging an active HR feed, optimising carrier plans and reviewing monthly bills, expense-management recommendations were made available to the customer, which ended up saving the business money.

Unlimited data plans are becoming extinct. End-users and businesses are tasked with coming up with ways to avoid paying higher fees due to overages, or to acquire more data. According to an experiment conducted by TechHive.com, 10 subscribers measured their own data usage each month and went over the average 2 GB plan. Interestingly, the bigger the screen of their mobile devices, the more data they used, due to the fact that those devices are more conducive for streaming content and working.

Tournament pools are common around this time of year, but let’s talk about a different pool that might be of even more interest, depending on who you’re talking to: pooling data through enterprise wireless service rate plans is another option that results in savings.

For example, a group of 500 employees can share a pool of data and voice minutes. Some employees use only a fraction of their respective shares, while others go well over their allotments. By pooling data and voice minutes so that everyone is pulling from the same bucket, you can reduce your risk of overages.

With the help of mobility management technology, you can benefit from pooling wireless service – all while still having visibility into departments’ and employees’ usage, allocating each individual’s specific usage of the pooled service to the appropriate cost center or department.

One carrier even reported that, across both the in-stadium and outside-stadium network, more than 1,268 GB was processed during the Final Four, according to BizJournals.com.

People were constantly updating their statuses, tweeting their game reactions and sharing their beautifully filtered Instagrams. This number of gigabytes might be difficult to wrap your head around, but it’s the equivalent of more than 4,100 hours of streaming HD video.

Leveraging an MMS provider can free up a lot of time on your team’s plate and ultimately save you impressive hard and soft costs when it comes to your mobile programs. So, next year, you will be able to focus on whether or not your bracket is still intact versus potential data overages. Priorities, people!

Mitch Black is President of MOBI.