Tip of the Iceberg: Anticipating the Hidden Costs of Wireless

Updated: Jan 29, 2018

Remember the days when you could purchase a cell phone, pay for airtime minutes, and forget about your wireless bill until your talk-time ran out?

Today, the management of wireless costs has become far more complicated. And for many enterprises responsible for the needs of large numbers of employees, managing the wireless fleet has become an expensive challenge. In fact, it’s been estimated that companies spend an additional 10% to 15% of total airtime costs just reconciling contracts and overseeing wireless operations![1]

When engaging a new wireless provider, the “up-front” concerns that most organisations discuss — such as airtime, plan pricing, email integration, carriers, devices, and apps — are just the tip of the iceberg. Frequently, it’s only after the contract is signed that customers realize just how much work is involved in supporting a wireless ecosystem. Some of the most common hidden expenses of wireless include:

  • Procurement

  • Airtime reconciliation

  • Help desk

  • Subscription changes

  • Inventory assignments

  • Warranty and repair

  • Service level standards

  • Vendor processes

  • Multiple carrier processes

  • Surplus hardware

  • Employee change requests

  • MDM management

  • Reporting

The Cost of Lost Time While some of these factors may not have a “hard cost” associated to them (as would the purchase of hardware, for instance), the billable time attributed to solving such a multitude of challenges each month can be astronomical. Given the expense of onboarding additional team members to handle day-to-day operations, many companies choose to delegate these tasks part-time to individuals in other roles; individuals who may not clearly understand the process, and aren’t particularly engaged in keeping costs under control.

When a wireless program is improperly or inconsistently managed, the small errors can add up quickly. Gartner has estimated that 20%[2] of telecom invoices include errors, and the majority of these errors are in the favour of the carrier! Further, an “ad hoc” wireless management style makes it nearly impossible to accurately track and forecast spending. Without a line of sight on the status of the enterprise fleet, organizations wind up perpetually running the wireless hamster wheel, trying to play catch up rather than anticipate upcoming expenses and mitigate unnecessary costs.

A Simple Approach to Wireless Management To answer this challenge, Simplify Wireless developed Wireless Self-Service (WSS), in 2013. It’s a system that takes all of the information about a company’s wireless fleet, and places it up-front, easily visible and easy-to-manage. This enables the company’s wireless administrator to manage all tasks for the entire wireless fleet from a single command console.

We developed our platform to handle everything from purchasing to reassignment, suspensions, and inventory storage. When a task is initiated, the platform manages all communication with approvers, vendors, and the mobile device management system (MDM), while making each step visible to the wireless administrator. The platform also manages invoices, organizing them according to each company’s specific operational model. The entire wireless expense is reconciled against not only the billing data, but also purchases, replacement devices, and devices sitting in storage, making it easy to identify opportunities and challenges, and forecast for the year ahead.

By placing all the traditional “hidden expenses” in plain view, organizations get the necessary support to manage all wireless operations activities end-to-end.

At Simplify Wireless, we’re committed to streamlining wireless operations, saving our customers time and money. We will be exploring some of the hidden costs of wireless discussed here in more detail in upcoming blog posts.  In the meantime, we can give you a head start on exploring your hidden costs.  Contact us today for a complimentary audit of your wireless landscape, and learn more about how your organization can eliminate the hidden costs of wireless.


[1] LinkedIn, “The Evolution of Wireless Device Management”, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/evolution-wireless-device-management-peter-dobbs/

[2] Tangoe, “The Ultimate Guide to Telecom Expense Management”, https://www.tangoe.com/resource/ultimate-guide-to-tem/


Never miss a post from us, sign-up and we'll notify you when we publish new content.