The past few weeks I have had a rash of inquires as to the use of the iPhones now that Verizon has finally stepped up, I'm betting I'm not alone. The information shared by Syracuse.com http://bit.ly/hIFgNX and a recent article I read in Time shares some much needed light when making your mobile policy tweaks.
The changes in the industry have once again had us revisiting our mobile policies but there are other factors besides carriers to factor in and it comes down to something as simple as "use" and money and the soon to be changing tax implications. Just what are we using these devices for?
In the Feb 28 issue of Time Bill Saporito wrote a piece called "Leaving Cell Hell" and I hate to tell Bill but at times I feel like I will never leave Hell. Much of what I hear is how "cool" the iPhones are and all the cool apps - doesn't sound like Hell at all and for the most part they are right, much of what these devices do is cool. For many of our staff who focus on "social networking" they won't have any problems in using these "cool" tools as the menu and moving around the device OS will be simple and fun. But . . . . that's not the norm for many of of the folks in our organizations. Many of us still have folks who's VCR clocks are blinking 12:00 - you know what I mean . . . but the real issue besides actually having a cell connection that works ( BTW - Verizon won that contest hands down ) . . . the issue is DATA, what about the data use? Does everybody need access to so much of the data that is out there?
We know that more and more the "voice" features of these devices is diminishing and instead the streaming of data and lots of it is where the mobile device has gone - is going. eMail is just a small piece of that data. Cisco is predicting that data traffic driven by VIDEO over mobile will become the leader of the data drain - further hogging an already crowded wireless network.
Many of these tools work fine over WiFi but not all the devices have WiFi which makes getting outside the building a whole new game. Did I mention tethering? Talk about a major lifesaver, to easily link your laptop or iPad or Notebook to your data plan of the iPhone or Droid is pure heaven.
Syracuse.Com puts the "DATA" into a very easy to understand perspective:
"If you do check the Internet and update your Facebook status often, Verizon's unlimited plan is enticing - but AT&T's $25 data plan gets you 2 GB per month and that's a hard amount to hit unless you watch videos or stream music constantly. You can listen to an hour of music every day, look at 20 sites daily, use 30 apps a week, and send 3000 emails a month and still wouldn't even hit 1.5 GB of data. Plus, any data used while connected to Wi-Fi doesn't count against a data plan - if you have Wi-Fi in your house or at work, it'd be near impossible to use even 500 MB. But still, that unlimited data plan is enticing."
This is why the carriers are looking to profit as the needs of the many expect to do more with the data these devices have access to. This is what's driving 4G networks, speed of that data. Although on a side note, it would be good to get the 3G network functional to the point it actually works - don't get me started on that. Make no mistake, Verizon has a data model in place that will make them a ton of money with the iPhone. I think we sometimes forget these guys aren't a public service group, they are trying to make $$$. This makes the all included plans attractive but unless you are a data hog and I mean a real data hog it won't be worth the costs.
I'm not sure where I'm leaning, I understand and appreciate the Blackberry model yet I simple love my Droid, I'm hesitant of hype and marketing - I always ask my team to find out exactly what the need is when getting a request and look closely at the costs.
It has to be more then "cool" - it has to be effective and you better know how to navigate the OS . . . and if you don't know what OS is you're getting a flip phone and you'll like it!
Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at http://twitter.com/michaelsola : his views and comments are his own