Posted by Brownlee Thomas on January 13, 2011
We are pleased the AT&T iPhone monopoly is over (three and a half years later?!), but we do not expect that Verizon will aggressively pursue multinational enterprise (MNC) customers who frequently travel overseas with its soon-to-launch (data pricing not yet announced) iPhone service. The Verizon iPhone 4 will run on its existing EVDO network, so international roaming capabilities are limited since the CDMA-based cellular network platform is incompatible with the GSM-based networks used by well over 85% of the world’s cellular carriers. Verizon's iPhone won't work in cellular mode in most places outside the US and Canada. There's no such thing (yet — or likely on the drawing table) as a CDMA/GSM World iPhone, so the opportunity for your overseas iPhone travelers will be restricted to AT&T's network if your primary cellular service was purchased in the US (It should work okay in Wi-Fi mode for data, which helps somewhat.)
A second reason that enterprise iPhone users won't jump to Verizon is that they typically are bound by multiyear contracts (two years is the norm) – whether or not they are CLU (corporate liable user), and we anticipate that AT&T will play an aggressive retention game for North America-only enterprise iPhone customers.
If your firm currently has a Verizon Wireless contract and is interested in offering iPhone options to CLU employees, review their travel patterns to determine if they’ll be a good candidate for the new service. Also ensure that they clearly understand the limits on Verizon iPhone coverage outside North America. For ILU employees (individual liable users – those with a personal contract that may or may not be subsidized or reimbursed) who are using Verizon today and want the iPhone, encourage IT to support it to the same level as other personal smartphones connecting to your network (e.g., personal BlackBerry and Android devices). MNC SVM organizations are starting to pull down the barriers to personal smartphone use when the company isn’t paying for it. Many firms also are revisiting their CLU 100% payout for mobile devices and services for many information workers with the aim of reducing service and support costs – in particular, for iWorkers whose use of mobile devices is more convenience than necessity, and who might already be using a personal smartphone for non-connected applications or to sync their email via ActiveSync.