International wireless roaming is an ongoing concern for companies that conduct business overseas, especially for those with a large number of frequent travellers.
In a survey conducted by CCMI (Intelligent Telecom Data Solutions), commissioned by Truphone, 40% of the large enterprises surveyed spend over $1 million annually on wireless services. Of these, 68% are managing over 1,000 cell phones.
To control the cost of international roaming, many companies have specific mandates in place, implementing multiple strategies. Measures include reducing or even forbidding the use of international roaming services, having employees swap SIMs in their phones to a local or pre-paid SIM, use of ‘loan phones’ while in other countries, and suggesting the use of Wi-Fi hotspots whenever possible.
However, these measures can cause issues for businesses, which they may not be immediately aware of. For instance, productivity may decrease. When employees cannot make and receive calls, check voice mail and use data services as they do in their home country, communication levels naturally drop and work collaboration takes a hit.
Also, using different log-on and network access procedures in other countries can result in security breaches if users are not familiar with the proper procedures to follow.
In addition, when a client cannot reach an employee due to restricted wireless use or SIM switching, business confidence suffers and clients feel neglected or ignored. In the Fortune 1000 study, nearly 25% of respondents cited loss of business from such situations.