Frequent travel to Europe, Asia and other international destinations impacts U.S. businesses up to $693.50 per employee per trip
- A study commissioned by
global cellular communications provider Brightroam shows that U.S.
businesses pay a high cost in mobile phone roaming fees when employees
travel internationally. The study, conducted by research company Harris
Interactive Inc., reveals that international roaming fees can cost U.S.
businesses $693.50 per trip for every global traveler - which is 12
times more than the average monthly wireless bill. Surprisingly, few U.S. businesses report plans to look for more affordable options.
"The study shows that 15 percent of employees make at least one
international trip per year, which translates into costs of more than
$950,000 annually per 10,000 employees. If you consider that many large
businesses in the U.S. employ more than 30,000 employees, it is easy to
see how roaming costs can take a big bite out of operating costs," said
Jeff Wilson, General Manager, Brightroam. "While mobile phone carriers
reap the benefits from roaming fees, these costs are bad news for U.S.
enterprise businesses. As the economy prompts companies to focus on
cost cutting initiatives, the benefits of a solution that delivers a
telecom spend reduction are clear. We encourage businesses to look for
more affordable options, such as Brightroam's global cellular service
that requires a minimal upfront investment to reap immediate savings."
The majority of respondents (89 percent) agree that roaming costs
are overpriced, but surprisingly, most (61 percent) also report no
plans to switch international roaming providers in the coming year. The
report revealed that some decision makers have limited visibility into
their company's average roaming costs per month. Approximately
one-third of the decision makers (from 34 percent to 44 percent
depending on the company size) report that employees expense their
roaming charges versus using a centralized billing system.
"These trends align with our findings. Wireless
expenses are raging out of control for enterprises," said Joe Basili,
Vice President of Research, Association of Telecom Management
Professionals (AOTMP). Research by AOTMP has found that enterprises
often do not have enough information on their telecom expenses to
identify the best opportunities to reduce these charges. "Telecom
expense management is an issue that is rising to the forefront for most
organizations and is their number one priority for 2008."
U.S. businesses overcome these challenges, Brightroam introduces the
Brightroam Enterprise Solution, a global cellular communications
solution that delivers reliable cellular services in more than 160
countries and can significantly reduce international roaming fees by 50
to 80 percent. The Brightroam Enterprise Solution allows enterprise
customers to simply replace their SIM card with the Brightroam SIM to
enjoy high coverage and immediate savings. The flexible solution offers
telecom managers a set of unified management tools to make the
assignment of services, reporting, and support as simple and
hassle-free as possible.
The study also uncovered other surprising business travel trends, including:
- When selecting a roaming solution, convenience, call quality and airtime rates are important.
- Europe (52 percent) leads Asia (16 percent) as the most popular destination for business travelers.
- Mobile devices are currently the most popular form of
communication during business travel; four out of five companies report
cell phones or smartphones are the primary communication tool used when
they travel internationally and 57 percent of all calls made on a trip
are made on these devices.
- Across the board, users are more likely to use a cell phone
rather than a land line phone whether they are calling locally, to
another country or back to the US. If not using their cell phone,
three-fifths will use a calling card and half will use the hotel phone.
- Half of calls are international calls made back to the US.
Two-fifths of business calls are local calls within the country
traveled to. Almost half (46 percent) of companies subscribe to a
domestic cell phone service which uses both GSM and CDMA. If a company
subscribes to only one it would be GSM (45 percent).
Brightroam provides global cellular communications to individuals
and corporations looking to reduce their international roaming cost.
The enterprise solutions includes a comprehensive cost management tool
for telecom and financial managers, a portfolio of local SIM cards for
Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, India, Switzerland
and the UK as well as global roaming SIMs that provide free incoming
calls in over 40 countries and coverage in over 160 countries.
Alliances with international cellular industry leaders such as O2 (UK);
TIM Hellas (Greece); China Mobile; Swisscom; TIM (Italy) and Vodafone
(Germany) allow Brightroam to deliver reliable cellular communications,
backed by 24/7 customer support, with a unique contract free monthly
billing rate plan. Brightroam is a division of Roadpost Inc.
This Brightroam survey was conducted online within the United
States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Roadpost Inc. (between
November 28th and December 27th, 2007) among 1,181 respondents in total
including 356 business travelers and 212 telecom decision makers and
618 leisure travelers, ages 19-65. Results were weighted for Business
and Leisure travelers as needed for education, age, gender,
race/ethnicity, region, and household income to bring them in line with
their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting
was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
Decision-makers were weighted as needed based on the number of
employees in their companies to bring them in line with their actual
proportions among companies in the US.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability
sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often
not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error,
coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated
with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting
and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin
of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are
different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for
pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are
only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have
agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. Because the sample
is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris
Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling
error can be calculated.