Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SMBs Equally Savvy with Mobile Data Apps

Large enterprise employers have highly mobile workforces driven by the global reach of their operations. They often have extensive IT support, which offers globetrotting employees assistance with mobile communication services.

These characteristics bode well for adoption of mobile broadband services. However, a new study from ABI Research -- based on survey analysis of U.S. mobile business customers -- demonstrates that enterprises are not the highest adopters of cellular modems and mobile broadband access.

According to principal analyst Dan Shey, "The survey data demonstrate that mobile broadband reaches across all sizes of company with greater adoption in small and medium businesses. Our research identifies two key drivers: first, all businesses are familiar with data access from a PC, and laptops and mobile broadband simply make this access portable. Second, there is no distribution favoritism towards business customers."

Mobile broadband can be purchased from big box electronics and operator retail stores. Regardless, the U.S. mobile broadband market is nascent, with mostly early adopter users -- this greatly limits market segmentation effects.

The significance of mobile broadband is that it adds complexity to the use and purchase of all mobile services. But even mobile broadband will see complexity through different device purchasing patterns by customer segments, ranging from USB modems through laptops to UMPCs and MIDs, and 3G handsets.

The new ABI market study provides a view of mobile services and device adoption and usage for business customers segmented by four sizes of business. Data include business customer demographics, mobile services adoption and frequency of use, device selection and feature interests, and mobile spending and corporate bill payment.

Their report also includes survey results on user preferences, laptop and mobile phone corporate data access distribution, and device management services.