High-definition (HD) video from Netflix and other sources used to be a high risk source for busting budgets, but today live mobile video is the new threat. Recently, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Meerkat, and Rhinobird.tv released live-streaming capabilities. Organizations need to prepare, and determine whether their mobile service plans and budgets are ready for a big spike in mobile data usage.
According to Ericson AB, video will grow from 31% of all mobile data traffic in 2012, to 60% by 2020. Employees may wait until the end of the day when they have free Wi-Fi to access Netflix, but they may not wait until they are within range of free Wi-Fi for live video that is business related though. Live video broadcasts will have new compelling applications for businesses that could enable employees to virtually attend/view offsite events, develop more effective communications, present creative offers to potential customers, obtain solutions for training challenges, and other new innovative approaches to doing business.
Watching and broadcasting video will come at a price that could bust telecom budgets. The Wall Street Journal found that watching just five minutes of Periscope broadcasts on a smartphone daily over a month consumed nearly 50% of a 2 GB data plan. This equates to the same amount of mobile data as sending and receiving 300 e-mails or two hours of web surfing.
New phones with better cameras, as well as new apps, make live streaming video very compelling. Carriers are well positioned to profit from this innovation; however, it will be at the expense of the enterprise. Most corporate plans no longer have unlimited data plans and many organizations have no way to monitor employees’ mobile data usage.
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Wireless Expense Management (WEM) alongside Enterprise Mobility Management tools (EMM), can provide critical reporting to address these challenges. An effective program can also allocate pooled plan charges proportionally based on actual data consumption, rather than a fixed fee for all employees in the pool. Alerts can be sent to employees and their managers to proactively avoid a continual pattern of excessive use.
Telecom managers should proactively monitor mobile data usage and initiate a discussion to determine if the benefits from live mobile video merit its use. In these cases, TEM and WEM reporting can help organizations determine when they have reached the tipping point where it is necessary to negotiate new plans with carriers for larger allotments of mobile data. This will be the best way to ensure that live mobile video is not a budget buster.