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Mobile data roaming costs remain hurdle for enterprise

Mobile data roaming has become the enemy of international travelers, with many coming back from trips abroad with monumental bills tied to their continued use of cellular and Wi-Fi services or to a pile of e-mails and missed correspondence because they turned off all mobile data connectivity.

Looking to break down the exact financial impact such activities have on the enterprise, iPass released its latest Wi-Fi Cost Index report, which it claims outlines the impact of “unchecked mobile data roaming costs for North American and European business travelers.” The report notes that nailing down the true cost of mobile data roaming is difficult due to a variety of factors, including “paid data access plans from a variety of different vendors and carriers, Wi-Fi “day passes,” and hourly session passes for Wi-Fi access at airports, hotels or cafes. Costs also vary greatly depending on where travelers are from and where they are headed.”

RCR Wireless News spoke with iPass’ Sue Cummings, Sr. director of marketing, and Joann Guo, analyst, about a new report from the Wi-Fi services firm highlighting the true cost of Wi-Fi roaming and recommendations on what enterprise customers can do to manage Wi-Fi expenses.

Key findings from the report include:

–Unlimited cellular plans are all but over, with data caps going into effect when customers upgrade or change plans or carriers.

–While free Wi-Fi is readily available around the globe, a session usually isn’t free where business travelers need it most, particularly in hotels and airports. Many business travelers often resort to using cellular data roaming or Wi-Fi session passes to avoid slow or unreliable connections, or because of privacy and security concerns.

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