It seems as if unlimited cellular data is all the rage right now with the major players: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all advertising various “unlimited” plans. But as a business, do you truly need unlimited and is it worth the price? You might need a telecom consulting firm to answer these questions if you have a large company.
We’re going to take a look at unlimited data for business and weigh whether it’s worth the price for what you get.
The first thing to consider is unlimited data plans for businesses are often cost up to $20 or more than unlimited plans for consumers. This is largely because it’s assumed businesses will consume large amounts of data. And in cases where a company has employees who sometimes go over the data limit, and are charged an overage fee, unlimited seems like a good idea. But take a look at how much you’re paying in those fees versus how much you’re paying per month for unlimited. In many cases, you’ll find paying the overage fee now and then is cheaper than paying for unlimited data.
On the flip side of this is the company where the employees’ work demands copious amounts of data consumption. For example, in the case of real estate agents working out in the field who have to pull down MLS listings, reports, and photos; they need as much data as they can get, and in this case, unlimited is probably the right choice.
Another point to consider is employee need. Take a detailed look at your business and assess if there’s any aspect that benefits from unlimited data. In many cases, you’ll find there isn’t, and you can get by with the highest data tier the company offers, which saves you money year over year.
Once you complete this evaluation, you might find that a need exists for unlimited data for a small number of employees. In this case, examine their data usage under your current plan. Take a look at billing statements to see how much data those employees are using in a given month. You can gauge if there are patterns to their data usage and you can figure out how to better manage their usage, so they’re not hitting the cap.
Before deciding to switch to an unlimited plan, it’s important to talk to your employees and get feedback on how they’re using their devices and whether there are other options (such as wifi or mobile hotspots) that can reduce the amount of cellular data they’re consuming.
Lastly, take a look at how each employee uses their company phone. Is it just for calls and texts or do they need high-speed data? Also, how many employees need high-speed data? Depending on the number of employees that need this service you may decide that an unlimited isn’t cost-effective for your company. It’s also important to stress that company phones and data usage are for company business and not for streaming YouTube or Netflix, which can put one over their data cap quickly.
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