Major American telcos such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon debuted their shared mobile plans for business users in 1Q13. Shared mobile packages are mobile plans that feature buckets of minutes, SMS and data that can be shared across multiple users or devices. Most packages offer unlimited voice and SMS as well as a capped data allowance, and usually target the small and medium enterprise segment.
This subscription scheme is already common for residential offers — such as AT&T’s Mobile Share Plans and Verizon’s Share Everything plans. Verizon, one of the earliest adopter of this strategy, initially offered mobile sharing plans as a customised solution for large business clients only. However, the telco saw an increasing demand from other business customer segments, which motivated the carrier to extend the offer to small and medium enterprises as well. Verizon’s move shook up other players that started rolling out similar packages a few months after Verizon.
The move towards shared mobile plans is driven by a number of underlying trends in the corporate segment: the growing multiple-device ownership, the popularity of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies as well as the increasing mobility of employees. The adoption of smartphones and tablet PCs in the enterprise segment has significantly impacted mobile consumption patterns. Today, more and more employees own multiple Internet-connected devices and companies are more open to BYOD policies as well as remote work-from-home solutions to support employee mobility.