iPass Inc. has released the findings of its Mobile Connectivity Cost Index 2016 in conjunction with Rething Technology Research, which reveals that mobile connectivity through cellular roaming, pay-on-demand WI-FI and free WI-FI, is costing North American and European businesses at least £2.19 billion per year.
These high costs are the result of mobile professionals' need for connectivity and growing data consumption with “on the go” mobile professionals using an average of 6 gigabytes of data per month while working away from the office.
In response to the report's findings, chief commercial officer of iPass Patricia Hume noted the importance of connectivity in today's world and how free Wi-Fi is neither simple or convenient enough for today's professionals, saying: “Connectivity has never been more important. Whether mobile professionals are trying to be productive by day or connect to friends and family by night, there is a tangible need to be connected all the time.”
“The direct and indirect costs of keeping mobile professionals connected are more than many businesses realise, highlighting the need for employees' data usage. Cost-effective and secure connectivity is paramount, yet free Wi-Fi does not provide the simplicity and convenience that today's mobile professionals require.”
Over the last 12 months, 'free' Wi-Fi has continued to grow but for many businesses the term is still misleading. Free Wi-Fi connections are usually slow which prevents business applications from functioning properly and there is often a limit to the number of devices one can connect over them. In addition, it often takes mobile professionals valuable time to connect to and sign up as well.
The report suggests that free Wi-Fi can cost businesses between £578 and £874 per mobile professional each month due to the loss in productivity associated with these connections.
In regard to the cost of connectivity in North America and Europe, Principal Analyst and Founder of Rethink Technology Research, Peter White, said: “Although the cost of cellular roaming have been reduced, particularly in Europe, they still remain substantial when the amount of data used by a mobile professional is taken into account. Furthermore, piecemeal payment for Wi-Fi becomes expensive very quickly and critically fails to provide the simplicity and convenience that users crave.”
“Business leaders need to understand the value of providing secure, reliable and cost-effective connectivity. This means ensuring their mobile workforce is connected via the right means, at any given time or location.”
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