In late October, Verizon, the largest US mobile operator, rolled out three new wireless price plans for SMBs that include unlimited 5G connectivity, unlimited talk, text and data. All the plans include Verizon Call Filter to help block spam calls, while the two priciest plans come with a new security bundle that includes mobile device management, Lookout mobile end-point security, and dedicated tech support.
Such plans have appeal, as cybersecurity has become a more vital consideration for businesses of all sizes as more people work from home and use their personal devices for business tasks due to the ongoing pandemic.
SMBs get special initiatives for Covid-19
Verizon’s rival AT&T also announced a handful of initiatives to help small businesses navigate the Covid-19 storm. AT&T is promising qualifying business customers $10/month off for the life of service on an eligible Unlimited business wireless plan when they buy a new smartphone with installment payments and have qualifying AT&T Internet or AT&T Business Fiber Service. AT&T is also waiving home internet data overage charges for AT&T Internet and AT&T Fiber customers through December 31.
The carrier aims to burnish its image as an SMB-friendly carrier by offering guidance and other resources to help businesses save money and virtualize their operations. AT&T introduced free guides to help small businesses learn how to use e-commerce, digital marketing and social media, and cybersecurity. A series of free webinars with celebrity entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran along with other experts and small business founders is also being launched.
T-Mobile joins the party
Verizon and AT&T need to be on their toes as T-Mobile is also aggressively pursuing SMB customers. The self-proclaimed ‘Un-carrier’ has made no secret of its desire to extend the success it has had in the consumer sector to more lucrative and churn-resistant business customers. T-Mobile is now emboldened to aggressively pursue SMBs and enterprise customers due to the ample 5G-suitable radio spectrum it gained through its acquisition of Sprint earlier this year as well as the business-customer acumen it also gained through Sprint.
In September, T-Mobile launched new wireless price plans that include Microsoft 365 under an initiative dubbed Microsoft on Us. T-Mobile also upgraded its 7,000-plus retail stores to cater to the needs of small businesses and more than doubled the size of its team of specially trained experts dedicated to helping business customers.
With SMBs in survival mode, telecom service providers need to keep drumming up ways to help these customers prosper. Carriers succeeding at that will be rewarded with loyal business customers and will poised to benefit once SMBs start growing again.