Business Users Slow to Adopt 3G

One of the stories that came out of 3GSM last week (and got overlooked in the excitement) was a speech by Daniel Taylor, managing director of user group the Mobile Enterprise Alliance.

Companies spent $16 billion on mobile tech last year, so it’s quite an important audience. It’s also an audience that is far from convinced that 3G is for them, right now, according to Mr Taylor.

This is clearly bad news for operators as they have a huge way to go before they can recoup their massive investments in infrastructure and license fees.

I find this story rather odd, to be honest. If I was an operator the business sector would be one I’d be targeting relentlessly. For a start it’s one that is relatively price insensitive, providing the solution solves a need. And it’s also a sector where you can offer a clear user benefit – quick and easy access to data, especially email, on the move.

In comparison, the non-business user has proven to be mainly turned on by cheap calls, principally as there’s no very clear user benefit otherwise – despite some operators continuing to try to sell that dead duck, video calling.

The other part of the story that I find odd is Mr Tailor saying:

‘We also need devices without digital cameras,’ said Taylor. ‘You’d think it a simple request, but this is a hot enterprise topic. Most firms won’t let cameras anywhere near their business.’

This seems naive, at best, on behalf of businesses. I assume they’re worried about security. But if so, why pick on camera phones? Why not photocopiers, voice recorders, floppy discs, email, scanners and even pencils – you can copy down secrets, after all.

If you’ve got a spy in your business, they’ll find a way to spy and banning camera phones ain’t going to even slow them down.

Story source: VNU

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