In its "Un-carrier" initiatives, T-Mobile has offered simpler plans that include more. The company has even paid users to dump their other carriers. For businesses, every company’s mobile data needs vary according to its typical wireless activities, the size and mobility of its workforce, and its number and types of mobile devices.
To that end, T-Mobile created a “Phone Data Calculator” in its business resource center. Plus, here are three tips when it comes to keeping data costs in check.
If increasingly a businesses’ day-to-day activities are done on mobile devices and data usage is unpredictable, a flexible rate plan is likely be the most cost effective. If mobile data usage is predictable and the business has time to monitor its plan, a shared or stacked plan may be adequate. Otherwise, an unlimited plan can be the ounce of prevention that averts a pound of overages.
Be aware of roaming – at home and abroad. According to the U.S. Travel Association, Americans made 460 million business trips in 2012 alone. Business travelers can't simply leave their cell phones behind and deal with calls or emails when they get back to the office. But if they’re not careful, those trips will cost them much more than just flights and hotel – roaming charges can add up very quickly. Small businesses should check with their wireless carrier to see what kind of roaming fees they charge and where those charges are incurred (some even charge when traveling domestically). Depending upon the wireless provider’s offerings, it may make more sense to get a prepaid phone in the country one is visiting. You can also tack on an international phone plan to your current phone plan or rely solely on Wi-Fi calling and data.
Take advantage of Wi-Fi. Speaking of Wi-Fi, businesses can easily conserve minutes and data on their smartphones and tablets by using the technology whenever it’s available. Always connect to home or office Wi-Fi. When traveling, use airport, hotel and plane Wi-Fi services. This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but Wi-Fi calling is vastly underutilized and voice and data overages are the most common culprit in wireless “bill shock.”
Know thy wireless data usage. Nearly 90% of SMBs embrace BYOD. As more employees use mobile devices for work and personal activities, it is difficult for businesses to estimate exactly how much data they’ll need, resulting in exorbitant overage fees or paying for more data than one needs. But many businesses are simply subscribed to the wrong wireless plan.