"As with any transport type, carriers struggle with this," said Kathryn Weldon, senior analyst with Current Analysis.
"They want to focus on their core strengths as network services providers, but want to have more account control and deeper relationships with large enterprise customers than they would if they only provide voice and data services and, of course, devices in the case of mobility."
All major carriers not only recognize this, but they've taken different approaches to the market, Weldon
In the U.S., both AT&T
(Verizon Business and Verizon Wireless, both separately and together) are trying to figure out how to add managed and professional services for device management, mobile security, managed apps (i.e. for business processes such as field force automation, sales force automation and customer relationship management) and telecom expense management.
On one hand those operators are obvious go-to suppliers for those types of services because they can bundle them with mobile access plans.
On the other hand, Weldon
said, "Large enterprises and especially global multinational corporations have relationships with multiple carriers, so which one will they entrust their networks and applications to?
If the carriers try and offer multicarrier solutions, are they considered objective enough to do this well across their rivals' network services and devices?"
There are other opportunities for services beyond transport.
Carriers also provide consulting and professional services to business customers.
In the mobile space this can include everything from analysis of mobile requirements, security policies and middleware to ongoing management of mobile deployments, a basic help desk, lifecycle management, support and maintenance, Weldon