Mobile enterprise services in Latin America driven by unlimited voice, mobile apps and M2M

Telecom Lead America: Latin American mobile enterprise services market will be mainly driven by the increasing relevance of SMEs and the dissemination of voice and data solutions, including M2M, and innovative mobile applications and cloud services, said a recent report from Frost & Sullivan.

The market earned revenues of $16.53 billion in 2012, and is estimated to reach $24.69 billion in 2018, the report, Latin American Mobile Enterprise Services Markets, said.

Latin American mobile enterprise service providers are looking to make inroads into the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) segment by launching sophisticated, yet affordable devices and services.

Carriers are expected to expand their M2M portfolios to other applications, beyond point of sale (PoS) and tracking, to smart metering and m-health. The increased availability of smartphones and tablets and mobile broadband capacity expansion are likely to further boost the uptake of enterprise mobility services among enterprises in Latin America.

With the saturation of the large enterprise segment in some countries, mobile operators are turning their attention to the SMB segment by offering mobile broadband, voice and data services, tailored services and solutions with specific customer support. However, the prices of equipment and services are still prohibitive to a large section of the market.

The heavy taxes on mobile devices and services makes it hard for mobile carriers to lower prices in the short term but they are trying to improve the adoption rates of smart devices and mobile data services through highly subsidized smartphones and lower-end Web phones, which, in turn, is driving postpaid and hybrid plans.

“Low-priced voice plans are expected to become widely available with the dissemination of push to talk (PTT) services and unlimited on-net calls,” said Frost & Sullivan ICT industry analyst Maria Agustina Di Genaro. “Data services plans are also expected to be priced lower, but end users may have to settle for reduced traffic or speed.”

Regulatory delays in defining new rules and providing new frequency concessions will affect the market. Security concerns are also an important issue, particularly when enterprise-sensitive information is involved. To increase the market potential, companies have to establish policies for the use of devices and access to corporate information, and manage and remotely control the use of mobile applications and services by employees, as is done with computers.

“Further, mobile operators have to develop solutions that show enterprises that the value they derive from the deployment justifies the high cost,” said Di Genaro. “They should present quantitative analysis of the project, and demonstrate the ways in which security issues are addressed by companies’ policies and solutions such as mobile device management and video monitoring.”

Overall, mobile operators need to deploy tailored services and launch innovative and convergent services at affordable prices, and partner with application developers to provide a complete solution that addresses an enterprise’s needs.

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