The business case for “work from anywhere.”

Will Townsend

Sr. Analyst – Network Infrastructure & Carrier Services, Moor Insights & Strategy

In his blog, my colleague Anshel Sag examined some of the top trends driving the “work from anywhere” (WFX) revolution brought about by the pandemic. If interested, you can find it here. In my follow-up contribution from Moor Insights & Strategy, I want to focus on how WFX can benefit businesses of all sizes. I will also highlight some recent solution announcements from T-Mobile for Business that will help facilitate mobile work. Let’s jump in!

Productivity without bounds.

It is no secret that remote work has immeasurable benefits for its flexibility. The pandemic proves that corporate America can transition to work from home while maintaining the same level of productivity in an office environment. Connectivity platforms such a Virtual Private Networking (VPN), Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN), and the rise of the Gartner coined Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) have also integrated security. The result is not only a consistent application experience but also improved safeguards for enterprise IT networks. From my perspective, cellular networks and, in particular 5G, will enable a WFX paradigm that extends beyond these tools and borders of the home office given its fast throughput, ultra-low latency, enhanced security, and mobile-first architecture.

“I find T-Mobile's 5G deployment compelling given its balanced approach to building out low, mid, and high-band spectrum to ensure broad coverage, excellent performance, and high reliability.”

I find T-Mobile's 5G deployment compelling given its balanced approach to building out low, mid, and high-band spectrum to ensure broad coverage, excellent performance, and high reliability. T-Mobile is also the first carrier in the United States to deploy a 5G Standalone architecture that marries 5G core network components with 5G radio access network infrastructure to deliver on the next-generation service's true promise. As an analyst, T-Mobile provides demo equipment that I use on a personal basis. As a result, WFX allows me to be productive in my home base of Austin, Texas, in the foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado, that I visit frequently, and near the ocean at my second home in Islamorada, Florida. 

Improved retention and broader talent pools.

Another benefit of WFX is the ability to retain better employment talent and tap into broader talent pools. A good friend of mine, Paul Estes, recently wrote a book titled "Gig Mindset." He talks about the rise of the gig economy and how companies like General Electric are transforming its operations through connected contractors. It is a growing trend with many highly skilled and experienced workers taking a “free agent” approach in seeking new opportunities. I made a similar decision nearly a decade ago after experiencing the tech start-up community's employment ups and downs. WFX provides me the freedom to invest myself in meaningful work without being stuck in one place.

Consequently, I love what I do as a technology analyst, and that passion keeps me invested in my work. WFX can also allow human resources professionals access to a much greater number of knowledge workers on a global basis for employers. A wider talent pool matches specific skills with employer needs. WFX could help do so on a more cost-effective basis than traditional corporate hiring when factoring for healthcare benefits, equity, and other considerations.  

New T-Mobile for Business solutions.

T-Mobile recently announced a set of solutions branded WFX that can help businesses of any size embrace the WFX paradigm and enjoy the benefits of enhanced productivity, improved employee retention, and the ability to tap a wider talent pool. First, T-Mobile Home Office Internet is a simple, DIY appliance that provides a dedicated, high-speed Internet connection for business-critical applications and video conferencing. It also integrates content filtering to ensure proper access control. I like the solution because it eliminates the contention for bandwidth with distance learning and streaming services, given the shelter-in-place experience caused by the pandemic.

Second, T-Mobile Collaborate is a suite of tools that facilitate work-from-almost-anywhere connectivity and productivity. Powered by Dialpad, it is an AI-powered, cloudified platform that provides business calling, messaging, and a video conferencing alternative to Zoom and WebEx from any device. I like the solution because it allows businesses to present a consistent and professional "face" for its employee to customer and prospect interactions.

Finally, T-Mobile Enterprise Unlimited 5G Plans round out the new WFX solution portfolio. These plans differ from pooled plans offered by AT&T and Verizon in that they do not employ overage charges. Data is unlimited and leverages what I believe to be the most extensive 5G footprint in the United States, given T-Mobile's low, mid, and high-band spectrum deployments. ScamShield is included, an AI-anchored service launched last year that aims to eliminate robocalls. I wrote about it in a Forbes article. The new plans also include mobile hot-spotting, in-flight texting and data, and global roaming in over 200 countries.

Wrapping up.

In my mind post-pandemic, WFX is here to stay. Some companies such as Twitter have stated that its employees can work on a remote basis indefinitely. Operators such as T-Mobile that provide innovative solutions and services to support WFX have significant upside opportunities and stand to capitalize through increased average revenue per unit (ARPU), and new subscriber adds. 5G is not about access; it brings disruption and value to industries and enables employee productivity anywhere. I believe T-Mobile has established a solid footing in the enterprise with its recent announcements.

I look forward to what the “Un-carrier” has planned for the future.

Will Townsend is a Senior Analyst responsible for Networking Infrastructure and Carrier Services at Moor Insights & Strategy. Mr. Townsend advises some of the largest networking infrastructure providers and carriers in the world. He is frequently featured on NPR, CNBC, in the Wall Street Journal, and contributes to Forbes.com, providing insights into enterprise networking and 5G. Mr. Townsend is also ranked as one of the world's top networking analysts, as measured by ARInsights.

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