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iPhone 5 in the enterprise: Pain or gain?

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 13, 2012
\If the new iPhone 5 with LTE wireless sells as well as analysts predict, its impact on IT shops already wrestling with the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend could be dramatic.

"There are twice as many mobile devices per user compared with just a few years ago and each device is driving 10 times to 100 times more traffic," he said. "Our conservative estimate is that each mobile device has the potential to contribute 15 GB [per month] of traffic to the corporate network."

That could mean a doubling of the telecom service budget for a business, Urban said.

Troy Fulton, director of product marketing for Tangoe, a telecom expense management provider, said the iPhone 5 will create a "dramatic uptick in demand on IT staff" because it will be so popular.

The larger screen, up from 3.5-in. in previous iPhones, will be more useful to workers for running corporate apps, he said.

Because the device will be attractive and fast, more data than ever will be used, Fulton said. "Technology leaders should be concerned with the iPhone's data plans and users blowing past them," he said. "There's a dramatic cost risk."

Some carriers are advertising LTE download speeds in excess of 10 Mbps, but speeds could be much higher as networks improve in coming years.

Fulton said organizations that have implemented a BYOD strategy already will find the iPhone 5 "not much worse" than integrating other smarpthones. Also, iOS 6 is not much more challenging to manage than iOS 5, he said.

iOS 6 is due to roll out next Wednesday, Sept. 19.

"What should cause concern is the increase in data demand and how to manage that demand," Fulton added.

Despite some concerns about a BYOD impact from the iPhone 5, Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates, said the phone will not make much difference in its impact on IT. "People are already bringing in all kinds of devices to the office," he said. "It doesn't make much difference if its 3G, 4G, LTE or more. The real issue is, can the company manage the devices that people bring in?"



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