Firms Expect 15% Bottom-Line Boost from Wireless

April 9, 2009

Nearly half (45%) of business decision makers in the US believe that wireless applications are “important” or “essential” to remaining viable in today’s highly competitive marketplace, and more than half believe wireless is only in its infancy, according to a national study by CTIA-The Wireless Association in conjunction with Harris Interactive.

When asked how much improvement businesses expect to see in the next 12 months – in terms of increased productivity or cost reduction as a result of deploying wireless applications – respondents indicated they expect a 15% improvement in their bottom-line.

The in-depth online survey of more than 700 American small, medium and large businesses was undertaken to learn how wireless factored into their overall business strategy.

Many Benefits Cited

The study found that businesses expect to reap a wide range of benefits from their wireless spend and application deployment. When asked to identify the areas in which they expected new wireless spending to enhance their organization, respondents cited better customer care and products (24%), improved communications (23%), enhanced employee efficiency (18%), productivity and process improvement (14%), and cost reductions (11%).

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Along with these expected boosts, companies are also increasing their reliance on wireless, CTIA said. The wireless portion of the surveyed companies’ voice and data infrastructures have increased to 35% over the last twelve months and are expected to reach 41% over the next twelve months – an increase of 17%, the study found.

Reliability, Cost, Speed Most Important

Not surprisingly, the survey found that network reliability and cost were the top two factors that business decision makers relied on when deciding on a service provider, but more than two thirds (67%)? said that speed of wireless networks was important when they were presented with a series of statements about wireless.

In addition, more than 55% agreed with the statement that “wireless applications are only getting started.”

Latest Apps Spark Interest

Applications that are sparking the interest of businesses of all sizes are those that improve company productivity, as well as those that enhance the security and protection of customer and company information.

The study also revealed more than one-third, 38% and 37% respectively, indicate that it is important to “invest in the latest mobile applications” and “move toward a more mobile and virtual workforce.”

Regarding budgets, while 67% stated that their wireless budgets would remain the same in the down economy, 17% indicated they will be increasing their wireless expenditures for the coming 12 months. The majority of these indicate budget increases in the 6%-10% range.

“The results from the study demonstrate yet again that wireless is an important economic driver for growth in America,” said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association. “Businesses of every size in numerous sectors have indicated that wireless technology plays a critical role in keeping companies competitive by improving their productivity and efficiency.”

The study also looked at the wireless deployment as it relates to various industries and CTIA noted, as an example, that healthcare wireless voice/data infrastructure increased 29% in the last 12 months and is expected to jump 39% in the next 12 months.

About the study: The 2009 CTIA Wireless Technology Report was conducted online within the US by Harris Interactive in March 2009. A total of 687 interviews were conducted with qualified business respondents from small (253), medium (234), and large (200) businesses. Respondents were 18+ years of age, employed, and influenced decisions regarding wireless and other telecom voice and data communications. The results were weighted to reflect the general US business population based on company size and industry.

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