Wireless plans continue to offer more and more to the consumer, including unlimited texting, talking, and extensive data plans. Most also allow for costumers of the same carrier to exchange calls and texts without impeding on their available texts or minutes for each month. Additionally, data plans are usually quite extensive, and even the most avid wireless user can have unused data allowances.
Unused data, talk, and text minutes result in what is called wireless waste. Validas, a corporation specializing in mobile intelligence, began auditing millions of wireless lines in 2007. The company found that nearly 80% were experiencing approximately $200 of wireless waste each year. Validas estimates that 264 million US wireless accounts, out of 330 million, experience wireless waste, resulting in $52.8 billion per year.
Asia experiences the highest amount of annual wireless waste, approximately $513 billion per year, or 55.4%. Waste is so high internationally, it actually accounts for more mobile carrier revenue than actual usage.
Data consumption is the highest factor in wireless waste, with iPhone users surpassing other smartphones by nearly double. In research conducted by Validas for Consumer Reports, it was found that many iPhone users upload and download nearly three times as much as the average iPhone user. The figures were startling, given that non-business Blackberry users were clocked at almost half the amount of data usage as iPhone customers.
The Right Sizing Solution
In 2010 Validas worked with the California Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to implement an aggressive approach to wireless mobility management. By auditing the wireless accounts of state workers through rate plan “right sizing” and contract enforcement, Validas was able to save an average of 28% per month, across 50,000 wireless lines in 60 state departments.
Validas conducted a similar audit with eBay’s IT group. After analyzing the company department’s wireless accounts, Validas recommended specific changes for each account, based on usage needs. After almost two years of analysis, eBay was saving over 33% of their wireless spending.
“Initially, I thought that there must be a catch because it sounds too simple,” said Jacque Milstead , senior manager of IT Global Support Services for eBay. “But Validas came back to us with some preliminary numbers that made a lot of sense for us to move in this direction.”
In 2012 Validas introduced its newest platform, VERA, a cloud based mobile application that brings Validas’ wireless analysis to the next level. It provides the full analysis already implemented by Validas, and breaks it down to give the user a fully comprehensive view of their plan. VERA will then make specific recommendations to the customer, citing where changes and cuts can be made, ultimately resulting in hefty savings.
Since VERA’s launch in April, companies have been jumping on the wireless audit bandwagon. Validas themselves have worked with nearly one third of Fortune 500 companies. They have even been recruited for philanthropic purposes.
Validas has begun working with the Seven Bar Foundation, a non-profit that works to help underprivileged woman become successful in business. The VERA app enables a user’s wireless waste to be filtered into microfinance investments, in Seven Bar’s case, their charitable platform. It takes the technology that acquires wireless savings, and provides the user or company with additional savings by allowing the waste to be filtered towards other endeavours.
The wireless waste platform has made such an industry impact, Validas was invited by the White House to preview VERA at the 2012 Smart Disclosure Summit in Washington, DC.