DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 4, 2012 -- The exorbitant costs and pain of today's international mobile roaming prices are just as real for mid-sized and enterprise companies as they are for Fortune 1000 companies, according to a new "mid-market" research study by CCMI, the leading provider of telecom rate and data solutions and information.
In a report commissioned by Truphone, the mobile operator for the international traveler, a CCMI survey of 201 companies in September 2012 classified "mid-market" companies as those with 100 to 1,000 employees and "enterprise" organizations as those with 1,001 to 10,000 employees.
CCMI found that as their populations of international travelers grow, business organizations of all sizes say they feel compelled to choose between two evils:
- Suffer with standard international roaming options and pay extraordinary charges to allow subscribers to continue using their mobile devices just as they would in their home markets.
- Change employee behavior so that their usage consumes fewer wireless minutes, messages and gigabytes.
Results of the latest research mirror CCMI's findings in a report earlier this year that focused on a survey of larger, Fortune 1000 companies. In both studies, CCMI reported that attempts at changing user behavior and even restricting employees' use of their mobile devices during international travel can have unwelcome consequences, including loss of business, productivity and data security, and difficulties in communicating with customers, suppliers, colleagues, partners and the employees themselves.
Among other results, the latest CCMI survey found that:
- As with the Fortune 1000, 34 percent of midmarket and enterprise companies spend more than $1,000 per month per user on international wireless costs, while 15 percent spend more than $2,500 per user per month.
- 52 percent of companies surveyed have a specific company mandate in place to reduce their international roaming costs.
The latest CCMI report stresses that changing behavior can be onerous for users not adept at swapping out SIM cards and changing network settings. This is the case for many executives, who are the most likely to be traveling globally and conducting the highest-value business. Curbing their communications and productivity generally costs the company dearly.
"Given that most international travelers are on important business, as evidenced by their companies justifying the considerable expense associated with sending them abroad, neither option will suffice in the long term," the CCMI report said, advising that "organizations seeing their international wireless costs escalate should seek innovation in this market."
As examples of innovation, the CCMI report cites international network service resale plans combined with emerging wireless expense management (WEM) software and cloud services that can hold down costs of international mobile roaming.
The CCMI report concludes: "Newer, emerging global carrier options, such as services enabled by SIMs with multiple international mobile numbers and mobile subscriber identities, are making it possible for companies to strike that all-important balance between connectivity and cost. Such multi-identity SIMs, in combination with network intelligence and negotiated rates, let employees use their existing wireless devices abroad just as they would in their home country so that usability and productivity remain consistent. This approach usually cuts international roaming bills by an estimated 30 percent to 90 percent, eliminating the high anxiety about bill shock."
Truphone helps businesses and consumers reduce costs of international mobile roaming by the percentages cited in the CCMI report, and offers voice, data and SMS service in more than 200 countries. The company supports leading smartphones, uses an intelligent network, a unique multi-identity SIM card and its own "least cost roaming" approach to offer significant savings to business people making calls, sending texts and accessing data networks when abroad. By comparison, traditional GSM carriers only offer a single identity/number per SIM.
"For business executives traveling internationally, Truphone offers a compelling solution," said Gary S. Cohen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Truphone Americas. "Our mobile innovations and 'least cost roaming' approach enable international travelers to stay connected and productive while abroad without the fear of bill shock."
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Truphone is a global mobile operator, helping people and businesses around the world stay connected, wherever they may be.