Where are mobile voice, data costs headed in 2023?

Business managers must achieve powerful companywide visibility into all mobile voice and data costs, across their entire workforce.

In a nutshell, there is a one-word response to this question and that is – upwards.



Yes, this is due to increasing uptake of technologies that enable businesses to embrace opportunities with speed and precision. But today’s proliferation of mobile can also result in a cost nightmare for businesses that fail to have visibility, and through it, control of mobile costs.

If C-suite execs have not – at the beginning of 2023 − factored in an adjustment to their mobile policies to implement the right management tools to cater for the increasing usage of mobile voice and data to remain competitive and enhance market share, then the horse is virtually well out of the cost stable.

In the current business environment, usage costs can spiral out of control, putting pressure on business unit managers to become more accountable for the voice and data costs of their departments. This, in turn, means mobile expense management strategies will have to be comprehensive and meaningful.

The 2023 goal for business managers should be to achieve powerful companywide visibility into all mobile voice and data costs plus services, across their entire workforce – whether they are in-house or using today’s common hybrid model of remote and onsite.

Voice and data charges are exploding, possibly faster than business strategies are evolving to control the resulting costs.


If the possibility of surprise bombshell costs at the end of any one month keeps you up at night as you attempt to stay on top of a myriad of providers and contracts – read on to discover what you can do about it.


Market growth vs business opportunity

Let’s unpack local and global mobile voice and data patterns in terms of economic growth and how both are fuelling the ability to avail of business opportunities.

The telecommunications sector is one of the fastest-growing in the world. In the past decade, the global telecoms market has seen a dramatic increase in investment and expansion, which is largely attributed to the advancement of mobile technologies and the increasing demand for high-speed data services.

The growth of the arena has had a positive impact on economies with the creation of new jobs and opportunities. But the market is continuously changing through the increasing integration of 5G, big data and cloud computing, and benefitting from the advancement of new technologies, such as the internet of things.

The market was valued at $1 638.78 million in 2021, and is expected to reach a value of $2 346.69 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 4.95% over 2022–2028.

In Africa, mobile revenue is expected to rise from the $54.31 billion reported in 2019, to $67.12 billion in 2024.

In the Middle East and North Africa region, data traffic growth is predicted to continue as more subscribers are transitioned to 4G, and 5G coverage expands in the period leading up to 2028, with average data traffic per smartphone being expected to rise 24% annually.

Data traffic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will be driven by a combination of a higher number of connections, greater coverage by mobile broadband-capable networks, device affordability and attractive service offerings.

Service providers in many parts of the continent are in the process of migrating customers from legacy 2G/3G networks to 4G networks, which will result in average monthly data traffic per smartphone expected to be 18GB by 2028.

Despite it only constituting a small share of the total subscriber base, 5G subscriptions reaching 150 million in 2028 is predicted to contribute to data traffic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Power of knowing is crucial to control

I think we all get the picture – voice and data charges are exploding, possibly faster than business strategies are evolving to control the resulting costs. But companies can’t control what they cannot see. The last thing any CEO/CFO needs is a hindsight spreadsheet at the end of a month that screams rising costs across the mobile voice and data board.

Technology expense management (TEM) tools are not new to the business world, but in light of the exponential growth in mobile voice and data, they are increasingly being explored as a mission-critical must-have for businesses operating in today’s high-speed data services milieu.

Businesses are increasingly seeking technologies capable of ingesting mobile provider invoices, call records, commercial information and company metadata, and providing a single view across all mobile costs, services and assets.

Solutions that provide reporting across a company’s entire mobile workforce will remove the surprise element and replace it with peace of mind as they can enable business operations executives to quickly understand under-/over-utilised tariffs, top users, anomalies and much more.

Added to this is the ability to manage SIMs at a network level by locking, unlocking, requesting PINs and PUKs, and adding VAS, to name a few.

TEM solutions can provision and de-provision SIMs, apply mid-session termination, achieve near real-time reporting and much more. Gain complete insight and control across all the company’s APNs and forecast usage, track costs and quickly identify provisioning problems.

Automated reporting should also be on the radar – companies need reports that are designed to provide actionable insights that will enable remote work efficiencies and business as usual within budget.

It’s certainly food for thought for 2023: businesses not incorporating the fit for purpose elements of a TEM solution into their strategies for the year will quite possibly do so at their peril, as voice and data costs can spiral into the millions and without anybody realising what’s happening.

See original ITWeb article here.

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