Throughout the world, each country’s mobile network has evolved over time to best support its specific needs, and those of its population. Usage habits, data speeds, pricing conventions and coverage levels are as diverse as the customs and cultures of each nation. However, MNC’s are constantly trying to reconcile the need for standardised mobile services and consistent operating practices, while maintaining a comprehensive global presence, and also leveraging their ability to buy at scale.
For some MNC’s the path of least resistance is to allow each country to negotiate its own arrangements, although this can come with considerable drawbacks, not least the lack of visibility of overall global usage and spend, and a lesser ability to negotiate volume discounts. Added to this is the risk that, with an increasingly internationally mobile workforce (COVID-19 notwithstanding) visitors from one region may find their roaming experience compromised if the MNCs mobile requirements have not been approached from a far-sighted and strategic global perspective.
But perhaps the greatest disadvantage of defaulting to a locally negotiated approach is the limitations it may pose to the MNC’s centralised digital transformation initiatives. With mobile capability increasingly interwoven into other global technology projects, a patchwork of independent agreements with no co-ordinated central governance could create a costly obstacle to implementing efficient global programmes.