MobilSense Optimization Tip – Using Tablets to Trim Data Pool Buffers
Benefitting from 2 GB Tablet Share Plans
Companies are finding an increasing need for wireless-enabled tablets to empower their mobile employees. Unlike Data Cards that have a 5 GB plan option floor, Tablets typically provide plan options as low as 2 GBs. An increasing ratio of Tablets to Data Cards can generate beneficial savings considerations by utilizing the appropriate quantity of 2 GB Shared plan options with a pool of Data Cards. The lower cost point of the 2 GB Tablet plan will result in an overall reduction in your monthly data charges.
If you are not currently using data pooling please see our Tip published April 9th. If you are taking advantage of data pooling for Data Cards, the vast majority of you are noticing that your average usage rate leaves a sizeable gap of unused GBs that you are nonetheless paying for each month. This is due to the lack of plans beneath the 5 GB floor for Data Cards. Average data usage can vary dramatically by company but our experience has shown that Tablets will typically run at lower data usage rates than Data Cards. While the average Tablet usage may be as much as 1.0 GB lower than Data Cards, the Tablets offer a plan option that is 3 GB lower and $20 less than Data Cards. Herein lays the opportunity to reduce your monthly data pool buffers resulting in bottom-line monthly savings.
The graph above represents the average usage and buffers for a Data Card only pool and then an expanded pool including Tablets. By increasing the ratio of 2 GB Tablet plans to 5 GB Data plans the pool average drops 1 GB. Some companies might have reached the point of supporting a higher count of Tablets than Data Cards. The higher the ratio of Tablets in a pool, the more flexibility one has in sizing pool buffers. The 2 GB Data Share plan introduces the opportunity to close the data buffer gap significantly.
This example of 800 data devices in the graph above represents a higher than normal average usage. Your actual average usage may be lower. The Data Card only pool shown in red produced an average of 1.0 GB of unused but paid for data. In green is the new blended pool made up of 67% Data Cards and 33% Tablets which reduces the buffer from 1.0 down to 0.5 GBs. By using a blend of 2 GB and 5 GB plans, the amount of paid-for but unused data is reduced significantly. A reduction in the total amount of data purchased and available to the pool in the blended example is where savings are derived.
Your actual savings will depend upon the plan prices previously used for the Tablets before combining them in the blended pool. Non-Pooled Tablets are typically a mix of 3 GB and 5 GB plans ranging from $40 to $50 list. The 2 GB Share plans are priced at $30 list. Our experience is that most pools will have an adequate buffer even with all Tablets on 2 GB Share plans. The example illustrated above generates over $3500/month in savings in the blended pool example.