Mobile Operators Risk Losing The Enterprise Mobility Market, says Analysys

Mobile operators must not neglect enterprises’ mobility solution needs or they will be marginalised, according to a new report, Seizing the Opportunities from Enterprise Mobility, published by Analysys, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media.

Enterprises account for a large proportion of total mobile service revenue, their share reaching 37% in Western Europe and 39% in the USA in 2006. However, mobile operators put most of their effort into the mass market, where they can sell the same set of services to a very large number of consumers.

“Neglecting the enterprise market is a risky strategy”, says report co-author, Dr Alastair Brydon. “Mobile operators in developed markets are finding it increasingly difficult to boost their revenues from consumer services, despite the advent of 3G services and handsets. Furthermore, in the absence of comprehensive enterprise mobility solutions from the cellular industry, the IT community is exploiting the increasing adoption of WLAN, particularly in North America. This threatens to cannibalise cellular revenue.”

Key findings from the new report include:

– Mobile services and applications can bring major benefits to enterprises, including cost savings, productivity gains and strategic advantages. However, the take-up of enterprise mobility solutions is still relatively restricted, being limited to, for example, senior executives and mobile workers that are critically dependent on mobile communications.

– A battle to seize control of critical parts of the enterprise mobility market has developed between cellular and WLAN communities.

– A number of technological breakthroughs – such as indoor base stations (picocells and femtocells) and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) – will enable mobile operators to substantially improve their enterprise mobility solutions.

The Analysys report also illustrates how a number of important developments, including indoor base stations and IMS, will add essential capabilities to cellular networks, if mobile operators shape their development appropriately.

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