Mobile Broadband Data: Business / Professionals

This research highlights important factors that professionals consider when signing up for a mobile broadband data service. These include packages, affordability, ease of connectivity, among others. In addition to these factors, this research presents the important reasons these individuals would consider switching to mobile broadband. For each of these factors, this research provides insights in support of these statements. The research team would like to highlight that the primary factor considered is cost. As this is already a better alternative to hard-line connections, professionals here would opt to maximize on this advantage and use it fully. Additionally, service providers are always attempting to offer a competitive edge, offering more value at a lower cost.

1. Portability

  • The main reason why people in business and professionals opt for mobile broadband connectivity is because of its portability. This allows them to keep track of their business operations from anywhere and at any time. It allows from immediate prompts of emails from clients and stakeholders.

2. Ease of Connectivity

  • By using one SIM card in a dongle, one can connect several devices. Additionally, multiple users can also connect using the same device, simultaneously, at a cheaper price in comparison to fixed-line services. By creating a hotspot, other employees can get connected to high-speed internet at a lower cost.

3. Packages

  • Service providers in this industry provide packages that would be best suited for SMBs, offering flexibility and variety. The most popular here is the pay-as-you-go and the monthly billing contracts. In comparison to fixed-line connections, the set-up cost of mobile broadband connectivity is virtually zero: One would only need a SIM card. In order to establish a fixed-line, one will need to purchase cables, routers, masts, among others.

4. Cost Saving

5. Better VoIP Support

  • Another advantage of using mobile broadband is that the VoIP service is much better on mobile broadband as compared to a fixed-line connection. It is ideal as it relays speech in real-time due to its high upload speeds. It is also significantly cheaper than direct calls over telephone networks.

6. Affordable Upgrading

  • Mobile broadband growth is cheaper than any other fixed-line upgrade. Examples here include the introduction of 3G and 4G. This speed upgrade in a broadband connection would cost more than twice that of mobile data.

Mobile Broadband Data: Students

This research was able to provide insights from schools and service providers to deduce the most important factors that students consider when students choose a mobile broadband package. The most critical factor here is cost. Our research has revealed packages that companies offer to students and the assist that schools provide. This reveals that cost is the greatest factor. A secondary factor here is the packages/plans. The research brief below provides presents the details for these factors.

1. Cost

  • Mobile broadband is a cheaper alternative to WiFi. For students who may not have a broadband connection at home, it would be easier and cheaper to offer a mobile broadband alternative.
  • College students may not have the ability to pay a premium for an internet connection at home. Sometimes, these students live on their own and cannot afford it. In cases where one is a full-time student, a full-time job could be impossible. Additionally, it may be a big risk if one opts to share cost with roommates. This level of dependency could be risky as it may result in being disconnected if one person fails to pay. So, what is the alternative? Mobile broadband!
  • When choosing the best plan, students have the opportunity to compare the cost versus the services offered. Student tariffs could be more expensive that the cheapest alternative. It is important to understand all the hidden costs when doing a comparison.
  • Some schools provide an allowance that covers the cost for students who would need mobile broadband services. One such school is University College Cork, Ireland, where the students can place a request for a mobile broadband device.
  • Although they do not cover the cost, other universities have partnered with service providers and have offered students discounts. One such university is the University of Minnesota.
  • Some service providers have packages that would be suitable for students. This makes it easier for students when comparing the cost from different service providers and is helpful in the decision-making process. The image below is an example of these options.

A comparison of different mobile broadband options.

2. Plans, Packages, and Limits

  • Typically, checking emails and uploading assignments do not take up a lot of data. However, in an extremely connected world, students use the internet for a lot more such as social media, streaming, and online gaming. For this reason, it is important that the data available would be balanced between leisure and study. One should be aware of the package’s data limit.
  • It is paramount that the plan/package acquired allows one to pack and move to a new location without the fear that the coverage is limited or poor. This could be moving to a different house on/off campus.

3. Portability

  • Students do not typically study from a specific place/location. As a result, the portability of mobile broadband is a great tool.
  • As students and teachers are forced to work/study from home, they are inevitably forced to find alternatives, as they can no longer access the WiFi at school, which would typically be free. There is an increased demand for WiFi-alternatives, one of which is mobile broadband.

Mobile Broadband Data: Enterprises

The information provided below is deduced from various sources. These highlight information from a case study, insights from a report that addresses the use of mobile data in companies, and a Forbes article that provides additional insight. Additionally, this research was unable to focus on large/global organizations. The insights below provided overall insights that would not be limited to this company size.

1. Cost

  • According to an article released in 2017, mobile data usage has increased in popularity as enterprises shift from legacy voice and messaging to mobile broadband networks.
  • In 2017, the cost of data in enterprise was $95.97 per month. According to a survey, 56.5% of IT managers believe that this will increase as more companies get on board. Although most would subscribe to unlimited offers, a variable factor here is the roaming expense.
  • To manage the cost, companies are mitigating data waste, searching for lower costs options/strategies, reducing roaming costs/usage, and educating employees on acceptable usage in order to better optimize mobile data spend.
  • Voice and SMS are easy to monitor as they can be easily itemized. However, when considering mobile data, the usage is itemized as a whole, for example, 1.35GB per person. This does not provide insight into which applications, where, and when it was used for the departments such as finance and IT, and any other stakeholders.

2. Visibility

  • Mobile data and enterprise apps are difficult to monitor/manage. In terms of communication, these two areas cost the most to the companies and are least visible, in comparison to SMS and voice.
  • By implementing Mobile Data Optimization tools (MDO), companies are able to manage this usage.
  • MDO tools help companies keep track of mobile data consumption and cost within organizations. A company’s mobile strategy implements these tools.

3. Decision Makers

  • Mobility strategies within companies still has a disconnect as the division of responsibility is unclear. The various aspects of mobile usage within companies include the strategy, budgeting, deployment, and maintenance.
  • The decision-making process being split across various departments posses difficulty in a company’s mobility strategy, which needs to be effective and consistent. MDO tools are critical in making this happen. These tools are ideal in providing fundamental information that would be critical in coordinating the decision-making across departments.

4. Usage

5. Managing Drawbacks

  • Technology always suffers pitfalls. This is a matter of when and not just if it fails. When choosing the type of mobile broadband service a company will implement, it will need to determine how much it can mitigate/minimize the impact of any downtimes on the company’s main business. With mobile broadband, it is important to assess factors such as coverage, backups, and file size.
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.


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