Wireless Telecom Services and Hidden Costs

Telecom services has become such a vast category that it’s difficult for non-specialists to even understand what they’re entitled to much, less manage services for maximum cost effectiveness. It’s no wonder that business communications costs are soaring, when managers would be hard-pressed to know exactly what they signed up for, and where employee errors, misuse or poor business intelligence as to company needs might kick their costs up a notch.

Smartphone wireless cost management

How much is your Droid or Milestone phone really costing you?

Let’s take a look at five potential hidden expenses:

Apps: Smartphones have given rise to a new source for hidden costs: phone applications – or apps. iPhone, Android and upcoming Windows 7 Phone apps will not only cost money to download and install, but may make it possible for employees to eat up their data allotments at an alarming rate through services like streaming audio and video – and in most cases, these uses aren’t exactly “business critical.”

Overage: If you don’t understand your data needs, you may choose a plan that’s provides too little data per month at a preferential rate. Once employees exceed the data allotment, you’ll pay the heavy fees charged for data above the monthly threshold. Only accurate telecom audits can track your data usage, track it to business activities, and determine your true data needs.

Service Use Outside of Plans: Of course, if you don’t have a data plan at all, opening a web browser will lead to heavy metered charges. Sending texts without a text plan can be similarly expensive. In many cases, phones can still perform services you didn’t add to your plan, but instead of plan fees to need to pay much higher per use charges. Avoid the temptation to use a service that isn’t in your plan “just once or twice” and see if you can get the ability to occasionally use it removed completely.

Tethering Charges: Watch out for this if you have particularly tech-savvy employees. Almost any modern phone can be converted to a modem, but this is most easily done with 3G and better handsets. Unfortunately, most carriers charge an additional fee for tethering above and beyond standard data charges, so what looks like an innovative way to connect and get things done may end up proving to be extremely expensive.

Telecom expense management will not only help you understand your entitlements, but will show you what you really need and where trouble spots in your billing might appear. Contact us to see how we can get you started with an initial audit.