Fleets using OmniVision wireless services can now choose flat-rate pricing that includes unlimited access to messaging and services over both satellite and land-based communications networks. Announced by Qualcomm Enterprise Services (QES), the new Unlimited Value Plan is available to both existing and new customers who sign one-, three- or five-year contracts. It is a temporary promotion expiring on September 30, “but my gut tells me we'll extend it, though we reserve the right to modify it if necessary,'' said Norm Ellis, vp and general manager of transportation and logistics for QES.”
The flat-rate bundle was developed to provide predictable costs and to allow fleets to add additional applications at no cost as they become familiar with the new service, Ellis told Fleet Owner. OmniVision applications developed by Qualcomm include automated hours-of-service logs, driver performance monitoring, automated arrival and departure notification, and driver email.
“With all the individual pieces available [with OmniVision], it can be hard for a fleet to nail down predictable costs,” Ellis said. “Also, a fleet might want to start using just one or two applications but later might want or need to add others. This [flat-rate plan] provides long-term cost predictability yet lets them do more and more with the system.”
The plan does not cover third-party applications that require separate license fees or on-board OmniVision hardware.
OmniTracs, Qualcomm's original satellite-based wireless service, is not part of the flat-rate promotion at present, “but we will look at that,” said Ellis. He pointed out that many of the company's largest OmniTracs customers are already on a simplified billing plan that bases monthly charges on average usage.
In general, Ellis predicts that flat rates for wireless data services will become more common “as bandwidth becomes more ubiquitous and as the costs become more predictable” for suppliers. “It's already started on the consumer side, and Qualcomm decided it didn't want to wait on the commercial side,” he said.