Is a Shared Data Plan Right for Your Business?

data planWhen it comes to mobile devices, one of the most important parts of any mobile package for businesses is a shared data plan. Whether you have cell phones, tablets, hotspots, or any combination of devices, it is crucial to ensure that you have the right data plan for your business in order to avoid significant overages. In the past, major carriers used to require you to have a separate line for each device; however, thanks to shared resource plans, businesses now just need to pay a flat fee for a pool of data plus a nominal per-device fee to cover the cost of adding it to a plan.

While picking a mobile plan for your business can be daunting, Inc.com has a comprehensive guide to choosing a solid voice and data plan for your business. As far as shared data goes, all business owners need to keep a few unique considerations in mind.

The Biggest Strengths of Shared Data

One of the biggest benefits of shared data plans today is that you can choose whether you want unlimited voice and text or if you simply need data for your devices. If you just want to provide employees with tablets and mobile connectivity, you can purchase a pool of data sans text and voice for a fraction of what all the services would cost. Additionally, devices can be added easily so that as your business grows, you will not need to switch carriers or purchase dedicated lines for the additional devices.

Key Pricing Considerations

Sharing a pool of data can be a cost-effective way to give your employees connectivity when on the go; however, one of the biggest caveats of pooled data plans is that many don’t allow employers to set usage limits by the device. This means that employers need to monitor data usage across all devices to make sure that one device isn’t hogging all the data. Fortunately, many carriers offer alert services: when data usage hits defined metrics, an alert will go out to ensure that the employer can take appropriate action.

Alternatives to Data Plans

Just because employees are away from the office doesn’t mean that they need a high-end data package. If your business subscribes to a cable provider for Internet, your staff may have access to WiFi hotspots located across the nation. Although your connectivity may vary from region to region (remember to test connectivity with an internet speed test), many leading cable companies are now offering free WiFi access to customers nationally as a way to entice business clients to use their services. While you might still need a shared data plan for occasional connectivity needs, using a cable company can save you at least a few hundred dollars per year depending on the number of employees you have.