Research firm AMI Partners predicts that US Small Business will be spending more than $18 billion on wireless servcies this year. I think that small businesses need to always find ways to do MORE with LESS and one way to do that is leveraging mobile technology solutions CONNECTED with wireless services.
At the upcoming “Taste of Technology at Lunchtime” event brought to you by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Best Buy and Microsoft the focus will be on mobile technology.
AMI-Partners’ new study, Small and Medium Businesses: The Next Growth Engine For Wireless Service Providers offers an in-depth look at the SMB wireless service market with analysis of data from AMI-Partners’ latest research on both the end-user and supplier sides. It also examines the customers of the top wireless carriers in terms of firmographics, IT and Telecom adoption and spending, analyzes wireless service vendors’ strategies, product offerings, marketing and channel programs targeted at the SMB mobile users.
The press release goes on to read – The country’s largest carriers – Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile – are boosting their marketing to win the hearts of millions of SMB mobile customers. For example, Sprint and Cingular have introduced business-specific rate plans and contract options that appeal to SMB customers. They have also set up customer-care centers dedicated to serving the unique needs of SMBs. And have spruced up their retail outlets with staff, products and marketing programs aimed at the SMB segment. Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, has put in place a sales team that focuses on industry-specific wireless applications to lure SMB customers in key verticals such as wholesale, distribution, construction, professional services, legal, etc.
With 76% of SBs and 88% of MBs subscribing to mobile services, U.S. SMBs are increasingly savvy in choosing a carrier. “Coverage, customer care, reliability, predictable voice bundles, flexible pricing plans, unlimited mobile to mobile
minutes are all important aspects of package plans that appeal to SMB customers,” says Janet Stone, New York-based Research Director at AMI-Partners. “In addition, usage requirements vary from industry to industry and business to business. As a result, there are opportunities for service providers on the value-added services front by extending communications and productivity functions to SMB employees across many industries that meet specific requirements,” Ms. Stone adds.
Going forward, growth in SMB wireless spending will largely be driven by wireless data applications, as the underlying technology is finally ready for prime time. Although some may argue whether the 400-700 kbps available from today’s cellular-based wireless networks is truly broadband, most industry observers say that it is the “tipping speed” for many laptop applications. With this kind of bandwidth available for mobile wireless data applications, the claim that “anyplace is your workplace” might finally ring true.
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