Multinational companies are putting mobile data first on their shopping list for telecoms services but express concern that the high cost of mobile data plans could limit their rollout of services to employees, according to new research from Ovum.
In the new report from the global advisory and consulting firm, the top three budget priorities for CIOs at large enterprises are mobile data, IP convergence, and overall cost management. However, there are signs that budgets are being directed towards mobile data in particular. The CIOs also wanted mobile operators to improve billing and usage reporting.
Ovum suggests that more companies are moving from talking about fixed-mobile convergence as a concept to undertaking practical integration projects. As a result, it expects MNCs spending on mobile data to increase faster than any of the telecoms services they buy. Balanced over all areas of expenditure though, Ovum forecasts telecoms budgets to change little over the coming year.
However, nearly three quarters (71%) of the survey expect mobile data budgets to increase significantly over the same period. That said, mobile data traffic is predicted to grow much more quickly than budgets; the companies anticipate that their service providers will come up with increasingly competitive deals, especially internationally.
Cost management remains a major area of concern for all telecoms services. Even though, many MNCs have had success in bringing core fixed voice and data network costs under control, there are still issues around the cost of provision in less developed countries. As expected, with multinationals it is the cost of mobile (and, increasingly mobile data) that needs most attention.
This need for greater visibility and control of mobile costs is seen as a barrier to greater acceptance and usage of mobile data applications and convergence. Ovum reports that the uptake of mobile data services has been fairly slow in multinationals to date.