One often overlooked issue with BYOD is ownership of mobile phone numbers
A decade ago, your mobile phone number may not have meant much. In the days before number porting, mobile phone numbers were transient. If you switched carriers or moved, you got a new number.
Things are a bit different today. You can take your number with you from one mobile carrier to another, you can port it VOIP services like Vonage, or forwarding services like Google Voice, and you can even port it to a landline phone. Your phone number, much like your personal email address or Twitter account, belongs to you for as long as you want to keep it.
That can create a problem for companies implementing BYOD programs. If an employees bring their own phones, they also bring their own numbers. For many employees, particularly those that are mobile professionals, their mobile number is the go-to number to reach them. When such an employee leaves that company, what happens to his or her phone number?
Despite the call for shared data plans, no one knows for sure the impact they'll have
The concept of shared data plans has been floating around in the U.S. mobile industry for a while. So far, however, only Verizon has announced plans to offer them. This idea of shared data plans is based on the various family and business plans available from almost all major carriers in which multiple lines and corresponding devices are bundled as a single plan on a single account. That allows all the devices share the same pool of minutes.
While it seems like shared data would function in a similar manner, the issue isn’t quite so clear-cut from the perspective of mobile carriers. In fact, according to AT&T CFO John Stephens, carriers still aren’t sure how to configure shared data options or how much money they would make or lose by implementing them.
A big challenge for businesses and organizations is cost management, particularly in the current economic climate. Many companies are trying to maximise their budgets – one of the big factors pushing the BYOD trend. Where BYOD isn’t feasible, however, businesses may still have the need to support mobile professionals – and need to do so as cost effectively as possible.
Despite the common presumption that Apple solutions are more expensive, the iPhone offers companies unique advantages when it comes to keeping costs down – and those advantages aren’t likely to be found in Android devices.
All across Europe, iPhone exclusivity deals have already toppled, but here in Germany, T-Mobile still remains standing as the sole carrier of the iPhone 4. The foundations are wobbly, though, as numerous other carriers in the country have begun selling the iPhone 3GS, marking the first time more than one company has offered the iPhone… even if one of those iPhone’s is markedly superior.
It now looks like T-Mobile’s exclusivity deal is finally about to collapse entirely though. According to the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Telekom is preparing for the loss of the iPhone 4 exclusive in time for the holiday shopping season… while Vodafone and O2 are similarly preparing to carry it.
It’s in Apple’s best interest to sell the iPhone 4 on as many networks as possible, and every country that has seen an exclusivity deal end has seen iPhone sales and profits meteorically rise.
Note the timing here as well: T-Mobile is losing the iPhone 4 exclusive by the end of the year. Meanwhile, here in the States, it is heavily rumored that Verizon will get a special CDMA version of the iPhone 4 in January.
It looks like Apple is just letting all of its existing contracts lapse. Now that T-Mobile looks set to lose its exclusivity contract for the German market, can AT&T be far behind?