AT&T's iPhone business tax is useless

Almost everyone in my office has an iPhone on personal plans. We all love the productivity that it adds to our lunch breaks and out-of-office time. The company currently reimburses most iPhone plans for employees because they are used for business frequently.

We are investigating whether we should go to the AT&T Business plan for iPhones. After reading over the details, the plan is $15 more for data across the board. AT&T's literature says that this is for 'Enterprisey' things like Exchange access and Cisco VPN. But I already have that with my non-enterprise plan? Not that I need it, our office uses Google for email and an Apple VPN/Firewall. In fact, there is nothing the enterprise plan offers that the regular, off the street iPhone offers as far as I can tell. Here is the marketing copy:

Enterprise Data Plan for iPhone

When using iPhone to access corporate email, company intranet sites, and/or other business solutions/applications.

$45

Corporate Email? - no, I already have this. Exchange support works on the consumer iPhones

Company Intranet? - I can get into any Apple/Windows/Cisco VPN already. Are they offering something I don't get here. No.

Perhaps AT&T is referring to the ability to build and distribute your own apps to internal customers. This wouldn't cost AT&T any more money for data, however, and really wouldn't impact them at all? Is this money passed along to Apple? Perhaps..

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The shared minutes and easy billing is what we are really after. But frankly, we could get this with the AT&T family plan and not have to pay the $15/person/month 'tax' for saying it is enterprise.

AT&T's business backend interface isn't spectacular. They do have a nice interface (I've used them for Blackberries before) and it is convenient to be able to see everything in the enterprise portal.

But really? $15/user/month? For 10 employees, that is $3600 over the life of the plan.

Our CFO wants us to get the family plan...

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