Zombies and Rogues. Gorging on mobile bills byte by byte

zombies gorging mobile bills

No, no, don’t panic—we’re not raising the zombie apocalypse alarm. We are, however, raising a zombie device alarm!

One of the most obvious ways organizations overspend on mobile services is by paying for unused connections. Sounds silly, right? But you’ll be surprised to hear that our analysis of over 1 million enterprise mobile bills revealed that 11.6% of the device connections were redundant – i.e. were no longer required by the organization. Consider how much you pay each month for each device connection. It’s a significant amount, yes?  Now multiply that amount by 10% of your total device fleet.  Now, multiply that number by 12.  A staggering amount of money to pay annually for… nothing.

Wipe out the zombies

How to wipe out the zombies?  The first step is to maintain a whitelist of connections you want to keep in place notwithstanding the fact that they are rarely used (for example mobile routers maintained for disaster recovery purposes). Once this is in place it’s simply a matter of checking each month for new ‘zombies’. Our rule of thumb is that any non-whitelisted connection unused for 3 months or more should be canceled. The final step is to verify in subsequent bills that the connection has indeed been canceled. Our experience shows that by taking these simple steps you can reduce your monthly spend on mobile by at least 8%.

Rogue data (n): that which is maintained outside the control of business systems

Rogue rates (n): Mobile providers inadvertent overcharging on your mobile bills

rogue rates

Rouge rates are daylight robbery

In Corrata’s experience 4.7% of all enterprise mobile bills include overcharging due to ‘rogue’ rates i.e. charges that are not in agreement with the terms set out in your service provider contract. By identifying these billing errors and bringing them to the attention of your service provider, you can ensure that appropriate credits are posted to your account.  Given the volume of data involved these billing errors can be hard to find. Happily, once identified, they’re the easiest to turn into cold hard cash.  Once errors are confirmed your provider should immediately credit your account with the total amount they have overcharged you, going back as far as necessary to correct all mistakes on their part.

But don’t assume that the errors identified won’t recur.  Operator billing is extremely complex having to support many different charging models across multiple market segments. For this reason, ongoing vigilance is essential. And be particularly careful in the immediate aftermath of striking a new deal with your operator particularly if it includes ‘special’ or customized arrangements.


This post brings to an end our series on enterprise mobile cost control. By tackling the data hogs, the snackers, the roamers, the rogues and the zombies our customers have been able to reduce their monthly mobile spend by between 20% and 40%. Given the fact that enterprise mobile bills typically encompass 100,000’s of individual line items, this is a difficult task to accomplish without the support of a specialist with the right technology and expertise. But with Corrata as your partner its a journey well worth undertaking.