The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 15)

THEME: LOCAL VIBES, MOBILE LIVES By: Jeff Blevins Director - Product Development & Logistics, Bluegrass Cellular T he rapid growth of connected devices is unprecedented as businesses and consumers embrace more Internet of Things (IoT) innovations. In 2016 alone, 6.4 billion connected things are projected to be used worldwide, up 30 percent from 2015. And by the year 2020, industry analysts are predicting there will be 50 billion things connected to the Internet. What's truly remarkable is that we're only in the early stages of seeing the true potential of such connectedness. Because of these technological advances and potential growth, cellular carriers are seeing IoT as the single biggest opportunity for their businesses, thus redefining what it means to be a wireless data provider. At Bluegrass Cellular, for example, we've been proactively defining our role in the IoT ecosystem. We recognize that this type of value-added service is picking up some serious traction and becoming more and more integrated into our customers' lives. Therefore, to keep up with customer demand, we have begun to diversify our services and approaches to IoT to stay on the cutting edge of IoT advancements. Several years ago, as we began planning to enter the IoT market, we determined the first - and arguably most important - step was to build a network strong enough to support it. So for the past few years, our engineers and technical teams have been working hard to expand our two 4G LTE networks: BCI LTE that supports wireless Internet devices and routers, and 4G LTE (LRA) that supports mobile devices. This past December, we completed our 4G LTE (LRA) network build-out, bringing high-speed, reliable service to our entire network. This completion was achieved in partnership with Verizon's LTE in Rural America (LRA) program. Now, with a network that's as strong locally as it is nationwide, we're prepared to support the smart devices of today - and tomorrow. Another way we've prepared for our role in the IoT market is by forming strong partnerships across multiple categories. Partnerships are important for regional carriers, like ourselves, because they allow us to expand both our product and service portfolios. For example, several years ago, we identified a consumer trend in self-monitoring home-security systems. As this wasn't something we alone could have offered, we partnered with Axesstel to launch the Axesstel 100 Series Alert System, a wireless device that allows users to monitor and control their homes or businesses from their mobile devices. This product allows us to connect our customers to what matters most at an affordable price. And for Bluegrass, it creates additional opportunities to retain and grow our customer base. It also is important to note that IoT encompasses much more than just consumer goods. Companies are beginning to use IoT solutions to gain insight into their operations and become more efficient and costeffective. So how can we, as regional carriers, tap into this trend? By bringing cutting-edge technology back home and translating it into wireless solutions that fit our local markets. SnapTraq, our fleet-tracking service, is a great example of how we've helped bring this kind of technology home to the smaller, more local companies - those without the big budgets of national brands. Using Bluegrass's network THE ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM / GAUDILAB Bringing IoT Home and the GPS technology provided by GetWireless and VisTracks, SnapTraq customers can monitor their fleets in realtime - tracking time, location, and even driving behavior. Plus, they can then use this data to increase efficiency, improve productivity, and cut overhead costs. In fact, one of our customers reported savings of over $2,200 in the first month in fuel costs alone. They have since maintained that same level of savings, which in the long run can make quite the difference to these small to mid-size companies' bottomlines. IoT presents an array of challenges for regional carriers, like Bluegrass, as it is redefining what it means to be a wireless carrier. However, rather than see this as a challenge, we at Bluegrass challenge ourselves to see it as an opportunity to expand into new and exciting product segments as well as serve our customers in ways that - when we were founded 25 years ago - seemed unimaginable. VOICE * * Spring/Summer 2016 15 http://www.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2016

Board of Directors/Staff
Chairman’s Letter by Slayton Stewart
A Message from the President & CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2015 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Bringing IoT Home
Creating the Foundation for Highly Successful IoT Programs
Meeting the Needs of Mobile Customers in the Era of the Cloud
Cows, Cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Policy Breakthroughs Bring Mobility Closer to You
Unlock Handsets: Unlock Competition
IoT: The 3 Most Promising Letters in Business Today?
Let Your Digital Marketing Strategy Deliver Results
Managing the World of Connected Everything
Rugged Phones & The Connected Consumer
When Size Doesn’t Matter
Network Wellness: A Lesson in Becoming Proactive
The Service Orchestration Imperative for 5G Enterprise Cord Cutting
The Future Device: eUICC/eSIM Lifecycle Management
The IoT Effect on Wireless Networks
3 Ways Smartphones Can Increase Productivity
Unlimited Amounts of Data – For Everyone?
Mitigating Signaling and Security Burdens of IoT
2016: A Very Important Year for Mobile Carriers
Company Profiles
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2016