Brightroam said it has released the Brightroam Enterprise Solution, a global cellular communications platform that delivers services in more than 160 countries and can reduce international roaming fees by up to 80 percent.
The product introduction was announced in concordance with results of a market survey, conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Brightroam, which is a division of Roadpost Inc. and provides international cellular and satellite communications to North Americans traveling abroad.
The study revealed that international roaming fees can cost U.S. businesses $693.50 per trip for every global traveler which is 12 times more than the average monthly wireless bill. Brightroam said few U.S. businesses report plans to look for more affordable options over the next year, and the company feels this is a reflection of the lack of options available.
The study shows that 15 percent of employees make at least one international trip per year, which translates into costs of more than $950,000 annually per 10,000 employees. If you consider that many large businesses in the U.S. employ more than 30,000 employees, it is easy to see how roaming costs can take a big bite out of operating costs, said Jeff Wilson, general manager of Brightroam. While mobile phone carriers reap the benefits from roaming fees, these costs are bad news for U.S. enterprise businesses. As the economy prompts companies to focus on cost-cutting initiatives, the benefits of a solution that delivers a telecom spend reduction are clear. We encourage businesses to look for more affordable options, such as Brightroams global cellular service that requires a minimal upfront investment to reap immediate savings.
The survey found that approximately one-third of the decision makers reported that employees expense their roaming charges versus using a centralized billing system. A single trip can actually significantly skew telecom budgets, and this is one of the primary reasons why we created our solution, said Wilson in a media roundtable about the survey results and product debut.
The survey uncovered other trends, such as the fact that users are more likely to use a cell phone rather than a landline whether they are calling locally, to another country or back to the United States. In fact, four out of five companies report cell phones or smartphones are the primary communication tool used when they travel internationally and 57 percent of all calls made on a trip are made on these devices.
The Harris Interactive study was administered between Nov. 28 and Dec. 27 and garnered 1,181 respondents, including 356 business travelers and 212 telecom decision makers and 618 leisure travelers, ages 19-65.
The Brightroam Enterprise Solution, which will exit beta testing on Feb. 1, is designed to drive down enterprise wireless costs associated with international roaming by providing visibility into roaming spend. The product allows enterprise customers to replace their SIM cards with the Brightroam SIM for high coverage, the company said. The core of the solution is the Web-based management portal that enables enterprise administrators to order, manage and assign services. There is no charge for the management portal beyond the airtime costs associated with their international roaming usage.
At this point, Brightroam does not have an indirect channel program.
However, Wilson said the company is working with several others to introduce this solution to their customer base. We see this becoming a big part of our sales channel over the next few months and will likely create a formal indirect channel program, Wilson said.