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BYOD Doesn’t Fly in Europe and Operators are Missing Out

Boston, MA - July 29, 2013 - BYOD is one of the most significant trends to ever hit the enterprise mobility market, but the EMEA region has so far sat it out and its operators are missing out on the revenue that can come from embracing the trend.

Compared to the North American and Asia Pacific regions where BYOD volume exceeds 80 percent of all business smartphones purchased either for or by business users, Europe’s BYOD volume will be less than half of its business smartphone sales in 2013, according to Strategy Analytics’ business smartphone forecast Business Smartphone Forecast Q1 2013, and it’s primarily the operators holding it back, says its latest report European Operators Risk Missing BYOD Revenue Potential.

BYOD is often believed to be a win for all involved, but it faces resistance in Europe from every direction. Operators see BYOD siphoning revenue away from the stability of its corporate contracts and most are hampered by separate billing systems for commercial and consumers that don’t recognize one from the other; enterprises are protecting their operator support commitments that only come with corporate contracts, which get smaller as BYOD expands; and end-users realize the usage restrictions they would need to follow in a region where roaming still delivers bill shock.

Operators are the enablers because the roaming challenges in Europe, which root many of the problems obstructing BYOD, require advances in operator billing systems to make BYOD work. Split billing options that charge the enterprise and the user appropriately on their responsibility and usage is a solution enterprises are asking for. Direct billing options that allow operators to bill individual workers directly for their corporate plan likely represents the ultimate goal for all parties involved, but neither is easy to implement pan-Europe. Still, the pressure is building on operators to make it work. Multinational companies that have implemented BYOD in other regions are asking why it can’t be rolled out in Europe, and operators desperately need more tools to distinguish themselves to corporate clients as the EU further dictates what an operator can charge.

"The time for European operators to fear BYOD needs to be over," says Kevin Burden, Director of Mobility at Strategy Analytics. "Accepting the change will lead to additional revenue opportunities and will help to distinguish themselves to the corporate customer in a time when the EU continues to put regulations and policies in place that further homogenize their services. It will be a huge competitive win for the first operator that gets it right in a time when every European operator is scrambling to protect its markets and understand how to best support the trend."

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