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Firms face 'bill shock' from smartphone use

The proportion of workers’ smartphones provisioned by employers has declined from 58 to 33 percent

Employees that are using their own smartphones for work rank connectivity cost as the least important factor when choosing a mobile network, creating the potential for "bill shock" for enterprises that don't have cost control policies as part of their BYOD plans.

Enterprise WiFi connectivity firm iPass surveyed 1,700 mobile employees worldwide and found that the proportion of workers' smartphones provisioned by employers has declined from 58 to 33 percent, while self-provisioning has risen to 46 percent, up from 42 percent last year.

"With more workers turning to their smartphones for work, data usage is growing rapidly across multiple devices. As this BYOD trend continues to explode enterprises are seeing the effects both in rising productivity and in rising network costs," said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass.

"Employees are using more data with more devices to work longer hours and they're willing to connect with little regard for cost. Enterprises must stay in front of the BYOD challenge by providing cost-effective connectivity for mobile workers wherever they roam," said Kaplan.

A previous iPass survey showed that many employees are working up to 20 additional hours per week unpaid as a result of bring your own device (BYOD) policies adopted by their firms.

According to recent iPass research the iPhone is favoured by 53 percent of the mobile workforce, up from its 45 percent share in a 2011 iPass survey.

With 34 percent ownership (up from 21 percent in 2011), Android devices have taken second place from BlackBerry smartphones, which are now the device of choice for just 26 percent of mobile workers (down from 32 percent in 2011).

The Windows Phone OS, which has few devices currently on the market, has a 5 percent share. Some respondents use more than one type of smartphone.

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