The marriage of Sprint and T-Mobile US would create a stronger competitor in the enterprise mobility market, but the entity may struggle to tackle the dominance of market leaders AT&T and Verizon, an expert in the sector believes.
Chris Koeneman, SVP of strategic solutions at enterprise mobility management company MOBI, told Mobile World Live (MWL) the combined operator would need to compete aggressively on pricing to lure customers away from its rivals in the sector.
Price is typically the main selling point for enterprise clients, as they view operator networks as being very similar in terms of coverage and reliability, Koeneman explained.
“To really get the attention of a major customer I think you would have to demonstrate 20 per cent savings. Anything less than that and they probably wouldn’t fool with it.”
Koeneman (pictured, left) also noted a combined Sprint and T-Mobile would be unlikely to be able to use heavy investment in 5G technology as a selling point in the enterprise sector, noting most businesses believe 4G is sufficient to meet the majority of their mobility needs.
Advancing the US’ position as a 5G leader is one of the main arguments T-Mobile and Sprint are making to regulators as they seek clearance for the merger.
Lay of the land
Strategy Analytics analysts Gina Luk and Susan Welsh de Grimaldo told MWL North America was the largest market for enterprise mobility in 2017. Growth, they said, was driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, business apps, IoT and bring-your-own-device and choose-your-own-device policies at enterprises.
While they said AT&T and Verizon took turns earning the number one spot for revenue and subscriber count in the enterprise market, the analysts noted Sprint has been “investing heavily in all aspects of its commercial business,” including its business segment. They said Sprint has set a strategic objective to win more wireless market share from small and medium businesses by focusing on mobile-centric productivity, delivering as-a-service offerings and supporting bring-your-own-device models.
Koeneman noted Sprint is currently the stronger of the two merger partners, accounting for around 14 per cent of the 1.1 million enterprise lines MOBI manages today. While still well behind AT&T and Verizon, the executive said the addition of T-Mobile could help the combined operator grow to a share of around 20 per cent.