Corporate Buying of Wireless Services and Equipment in 2005


Because of their ability to generate higher average revenues per user (ARPU), business customers continue to represent one of the most attractive market segments for wireless carriers. As they seek to expand this lucrative subscriber base, carriers need to better understand the dynamics and drivers of corporate wireless buying decisions and tailor their offerings to effectively meet the unique needs of these business users.

In-Stat says that they recently completed an in-depth study based on a survey of more than 600 wireless decision-makers in the United States. More than 40% of the respondent business wireless decision-makers were senior executives (e.g., president, owner, c-level executive) and more than 30% were IT or department managers.

Some of the key findings of the study include:

- Overall, the average monthly bill for voice services was US$87.74, with respondents reporting that average monthly bills had fallen significantly for small- and medium-sized businesses while rising somewhat for larger businesses.

- While businesses still spend on average about two-thirds of their monthly budgets on wireless voice and one-third on wireless data, the split in very large organizations has narrowed to only 56% voice versus 44% for data.

- Besides service quality, price, and coverage, availability of flexible billing options is the most important factor influencing wireless provider selection, with the availability of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) growing in importance among large enterprise customers.

- The survey found that Verizon Wireless’s business customers are most satisfied with it as a primary provider; Sprint and T-Mobile’s customers are least satisfied, with organizations that listed them as primary wireless providers most likely to switch carriers.

- Wireless data usage is increasing, with the vast majority (93.5%) of responding companies using wireless data somewhere in their organizations, either on a limited or a widespread basis. Within those organizations using wireless data, on average, 48% of employees have access to the technology.

- Respondents reported a strong overlap between use of wireless providers and related wireline providers, and 31% reported they receive integrated bills.