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Mobile workers complain about poor connectivity

Workforce productivity and BYOD strategies could be affected by connectivity cost and quality

Although companies are continuing to embrace bring your own device strategies, connectivity issues are impacting productivity, according to research.

Enterprise WiFi provider iPass questioned 1,600 mobile workers as part of a quarterly mobile working report and found that more than half had problems connecting to WiFi networks in key locations such as airports, airplanes and hotels.

Mobile workers often experience limited and frustrating connectivity choices, says the report, either an expensive one-time Wi-Fi "day pass" or costly mobile data services.

The report found that 42 percent of mobile workers agree that excessive charges and restrictions in monthly plans force them to limit their data usage, with a consequent negative impact on productivity. The report also shows that a quarter of mobile workers expense back their mobility costs.

"We are seeing that mobile workers are becoming more cautious about exceeding data caps and deliberately limiting their data usage, which is hindering productivity," said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass.

"Enterprises that provision mobile workers with devices or leverage a BYOD strategy need to ensure that workers can connect when and where they want, and work on-the-go as cost-effectively and productively as possible."

The report found that 62 percent of mobile workers already use their personal smartphones for work. While in 2012 laptops were the preferred device for mobile workers, the top choice is now an iPhone.

Only 12 percent of mobile workers named laptops and notebooks as their preferred mobile device. Even MacBooks, which are typically viewed as a desirable high-quality device, experienced a decline.

The report found that mobile workers are carrying 2.95 devices on average, compared with 3.5 in 2012.

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