Pete is a former colleague who recently changed jobs and his new company issued a 3G wireless broadband card from Verizon. This guy is an IT support person and the types of applications that he works with are super mission critical so the company made sure he was able to get on the Internet whenever necessary. Unfortunately, his boss failed to mention that the mobile broadband plan had a data transfer limit of 5GB per month. Over the next week, Pete was using the data card as his main Internet access from his house because the installation of his DSL line was delayed a week. Pete is a download fanatic so he was literally going to town with his new data card and he hit the data transfer limit quickly.. Pete was never told of the access limit but when he met with his boss, Tom; Pete got a quick lesson on mobile broadband access limitations. Pete still works there but he loves to tell this story whenever we go out with friends.
In the retail world, a truly unlimited data plan does not exist because every network imposes some sort of data cap which is usually around 5GB per month. Certain businesses would really benefit from an unlimited mobile broadband data plan.. For an IT support technician, an unlimited data plan would be an ideal solution for remote Internet access and the relief of not have to worry about going over your data cap is great. I also see an unlimited data card benefiting companies who employ sales people, journalists, media producers, on site customer support, or anyone else needing on demand 3G mobile broadband wireless service. There is a wholesale alternative for companies in search of a truly unlimited wireless broadband Internet solution without the monthly data cap restriction. If you select the right mobile broadband wholesale carrier, your company will secure the ideal solution because data plans include truly unlimited data access, flexible terms, easy provisioning, and reliable service from a tier-one nationwide provider.
Here are a few tips when considering a corporate wide mobile broadband implementation.
1. Establish Policies for Mobile Broadband Policies
It is crucial to establish policies prior to implementation so that the roll out is organized and everyone understands who receives access and how the data cards are issued. Potentially, anyone with a laptop is a candidate for a mobile broadband card. Also, any key employee who travels a ton should have a mobile broadband data card along with Wi-Fi access.
Another important policy is to decide who is responsible for approving new data cards and who will the data cards be delivered to the end user. Most companies just follow the same procedure for cell phones.
Another consideration, you may want to have a policy against employees purchasing their own mobile broadband data cards so that you maintain visibility and control over expenses, obtain corporate discounts and maintain better management of the account.
2. Always Maintain an Inventory of Compatible Hardware
It is important for companies to pick a hardware platform that is universally accepted by the organization. If you have an inventory of standard hardware then you may avoid some serious headache with end users.
3. Establish a Deployment Plan
You will need to choose a departement or person to be in charge of provisioning the data cards and getting to the end user. If you have a help desk or an internally IT department, you may want to centralize the process so that tracking the data cars is more efficient.
For new employees, their manager may be the person issuing the data card on their first day of work and then handing over the tracking to the help desk.
When an employee leaves the company, you will need to establish a way to get the data card and if the card is not returned shut down the service on the data card immediately.
4. Keep Track of Data Card Usage
It will be in your best interest to keep track of the monthly data card usage to ensure that the service is working as intended and that employees are not using the service for any non-work related activities like movie and music downloads.
For those employees who travel infrequently, the data card may not be essential because you may have many months of non-usage but still be responsible for paying the bill. We suggest if there is zero usage within a 90 day window then you may want to suspend usage and reevaluate if the employee needs a data card.
5. Find a Wholesale Wireless Broadband Provider
Working with a proven wholesale provider will give you the best opportunity for better pricing. In addition, the wholesale provider may offer flexible contract terms, superior service, customized billing, and simple provisioning of new data cards.
The mobile broadband service may be a new service for corporations but it is becoming absolutely essential for their mobile workforce to stay connected and to be as productive as possible on the road. As the technology continues to improve with next generation mobile broadband and handset applications, corporations will continue to explore ways of increasing employee productivity. In closing, corporations should consider implementing mobile broadband right now to lower broadband access costs and gain productivity increases.