The question of whether to rent or buy no longer applies exclusively to the property industry.
With the advent of the credit crunch, people are drawing in their horns, cutting back on unnecessary expenditure and looking to save money wherever possible. Increasing numbers are opting to rent rather than buy across a whole range of products from cars to laptops. Whilst these are tangible examples using ‘physical’ products, hiring services as and when they are needed can also prove extremely useful and can save customers a lot of money.
Mobile broadband is a prime example. Improvements in technology and the advent of the USB stick mean that technical nouse is no longer a pre-requisite and wireless broadband is now a genuinely ‘plug and play’ answer to mobile working.
Prices are declining steadily but whilst the devices themselves are generally supplied free of charge, major providers will still be looking for in excess of £20 a month for a managed solution that includes a decent amount of data usage. And they will or course also require a contractual commitment.
Whilst this might not seem onerous at first glance, when these charges are incurred every month across a 24 month contract and then rolled out across a number of employees, this type of arrangement can add significantly to operation expenditure.
In times of economic uncertainty, companies are becoming increasingly reluctant to enter into long term, contractually binding agreements. And flexible working may not necessarily equate to a life spent permanently on the open road. It may mean working from home one day a fortnight or it may mean having to have broadband access at a specific trade show, or for a business trip abroad once a quarter. Does this type of flexibility warrant a commitment of £480?
Firms such as Cellhire specialise in short term communication rental; providing business users with mobile broadband for anything from a week up to several months. International options also exist for foreign travellers, helping to reduce the price of roamed data – wireless web and email access – outside of the UK.
Customers only hire as and when they need to and in so doing, can save significant amounts of money. And short term rental is a truly flexible answer to changing business needs. For example, firms taking on temporary staff may need mobile broadband, but only for a week or perhaps a month. Customers can even rent the latest devices out on a ‘try-before-you buy’ basis if they are considering a contractual commitment.
So mobile broadband rental really does represent an efficient and cost effective alternative to the more traditional contractual approach, especially in the challenging economic times which we are all currently experiencing.