Global data roaming costs sink iPhone 3G use for enterprises
One company holds off on purchases in hopes that AT&T roaming costs go down
Computerworld - Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G has a powerful browser and faster wireless connections to all kinds of data and multimedia, but those features may be too much of a good thing for international business travelers paying data roaming rates.
One U.S.-based manufacturing company with global operations would like to deploy hundreds of iPhone 3Gs but has found that international data roaming costs are too high, said an IT worker at the company who asked not to be named, citing company policies.
The manufacturer's finance department has put a ban on company purchases of the iPhone 3G because the international data roaming plan for the phone's exclusive carrier in the U.S., AT&T Inc., is too expensive, he said. The company is in talks with AT&T to get a better price for the service.
"Until we have an international data rate plan that isn't extortion, we're holding off deployment of iPhone 3G," said the IT manager. "IPhone sucks down data like no tomorrow."
With the first-generation iPhone, the IT manager said, several executives traveled abroad and encountered "psycho-expensive" data rate costs. One executive spent three days in Canada and incurred an $800 data roaming cost, while another spent two weeks in Italy and racked up $5,000 in costs.
The IT manager said he is asking AT&T to cut its international data roaming fee to one-tenth of its current rate, from about 2 cents per kilobyte to 0.2 cents per kilobyte.
"I realize that's an order-of-magnitude reduction, but that's what's necessary to make this device succeed for any kind of international uptick," he said. So far, however, AT&T has told the manufacturer to "lump it or leave it," the IT manager said.
An AT&T spokesman said he could not discuss an individual company's plan, although he said AT&T enters into contracts with large customers based on negotiated rates. However, AT&T has implemented some special international data plans for iPhone customers, recognizing "that the iPhone consumes data and that it is worse outside the U.S.," said the spokesman, Mark Siegel.
Siegel said he could not say whether many customers have complained about international data roaming costs with the iPhone 3G. However, he warned customers traveling abroad with iPhone 3G devices to be prepared for the high data usage and the cost of using a network in a foreign country under a roaming agreement.
"If customers have not thought about data use abroad, we have a whole array of tips on how to avoid added costs," he said, referring to the AT&T Web page on international calling.
Analysts said the manufacturer seeking lower roaming rates could be somewhat unusual because its sales personnel travel extensively to many countries. In many companies, however, sales personnel will stay in a single country, which would lower their data roaming costs, analysts noted.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more