CTIA Report: Mobile Apps Boost Enterprise Bottom Lines

By  By Susan Nunziata — April 02, 2009

Nearly half (45%) of U.S. enterprise decision-makers from a range of industries agree that wireless applications are important or absolutely essential to remaining competitive, according to a national survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CTIA--The Wireless Association.

The study, Mobility Means Business -- The Wireless Road to Prosperity polled nearly 700
U.S. businesses of all sizes and types.

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Despite the economic downturn, business decision makers are allocating budgets to drive mobile deployment. While more than two thirds of respondents (67%) say that their wireless budgets would remain the same in the next 12 months, 17% indicate that they will be increasing their wireless expenditures. The majority of these indicate budget increases in the 6% to 10% range.

Wireless is also taking up a growing proportion of enterprise voice and data infrastructure. The survey shows the wireless portion of respondents' voice and data infrastructure increasing from 35% over the past 12 months to 41% over the next 12 months -- an increase of nearly 20%. 

Respondents on average predict that they'll see a 15% improvement in their bottom lines as a direct result of deploying wireless applications. These bottom-line improvements will be realized through a combination of increased productivity and cost reduction.

Respondents identify the following areas of their operations as those they expect to be enhanced by new wireless spending:

 Business Operation  % Respondents
 Improved communications  23%
 Improved employee efficiency  18%
 Productivity & process improvement  14%
Continuing with improved customer care
Cost reductions
Source: Harris Interactive for CTIA, March 2009

When presented with a series of statements about how they choose a service provider, respondents cited network reliability and cost as the top two factors. More than two thirds (67%) say that speed of wireless networks is important. In addition, more than 55% agreed with the statement that "wireless applications are only getting started. I'm excited about the future." 

Without question, reliable mobile applications are fundamental for decision makers to actually reap these benefits. More than 50% of business decision makers expect to deploy the hottest mobile applications in their enterprises within the next two years.

According to the survey, topping the list of new wireless applications that are sparking the interest of businesses of all sizes are those that improve company productivity, as well as applications that enhance the security and protection of customer and company information. 

Considering the importance business decision makers place on wireless, the study also reveals that more than one-third (38%) say it is important in "invest in the latest mobile applications," and 37%, indicate it is important to "move toward a more mobile and virtual workforce." 

These business trends are especially mirrored in a growing acceptance of wireless data among U.S. mobile consumers, according to the The CTIA Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey Results.

Revenues from wireless data services rose to more than $32 billion in 2008, a 39% increase over 2007 revenues of $23.2 billion.Wireless data revenues for 2008 accounted for more than one fifth (22%) of all wireless service revenues, and represent what consumers spend on non-voice services.

More than 1 trillion text messages crossed U.S. carrier networks in 2008 -- breaking down to more than 3.5 billion messages per day. That's almost triple the 363 billion text messages transmitted in 2007. Wireless subscribers are also sending more pictures and other multi-media messages; 15 billion MMS messages were reported for 2008, up from 6 billion the prior year.
As of December 2008, the survey recorded more than 270 million wireless users. This represents a year-over-year increase of nearly 15 million subscribers. The industry's 12-month record for subscriber growth was reached in 2005, when 25.7 million new users came online.

Methodology for Mobility Means Business -- The Wireless Road to Prosperity
The 2009 CTIA Wireless Technology Report was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive in March 2009.  A total of 687 interviews were conducted with qualified business respondents from small (253, 1 to 99 employees), medium (234, 100--999 employees), and large (200, 1000+ employees) businesses. Respondents were 18+ years of age, employed,
and influenced decisions regarding wireless and other telecom voice and data communications.  The results were weighted to reflect the general U.S. business population based on company size and industry.

Methodology For CTIA Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey
CTIA's Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey develops industry--wide information drawn from operational member and non-member wireless service providers. It has been conducted since January 1985. The Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey is completely voluntary and thus does not yield a 100% response rate from all service providers. However, the survey has an excellent response rate. For the December 31, 2008, installment of the semi-annual survey, CTIA received responses from companies serving 96.1% of wireless subscribers.

Because not all systems do respond, CTIA develops an estimate of total subscribership. The estimated subscriber figure is developed by determining the identity and character of non-responding markets (i.e., RSA/MSA or equivalent--market designation, age of system, market population), and using a surrogate penetration rate applicable to similar, known systems to derive probable subscribership. These numbers are then summed with the reported subscriber numbers to reach the total estimated subscriber figures.

No carrier-specific or market-specific information is maintained as a result of the survey. All such information is aggregated by an independent accounting firm to a nationwide level. The underlying source material for the survey is then destroyed per confidentiality agreements.


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