The RCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2011 - (Page 44)

T H E M E : I N N O VAT I O N N AT I O N Clearing up the Confusion: Managing Wireless Consumer Expectations H By Ray Westbrook, Senior Vice President, American Roamer ow do consumers know what performance to expect from their new wireless phone? Is it the signal indicator on the device, or the coverage map on the website? The truth is, both are just part of the answer. It is inaccurate to assume that a strong signal on a phone or map will always yield good performance. As we are all aware, issues of backhaul and spectrum play a bigger role than the typical consumer realizes. Technology is evolving at a very rapid pace in the wireless industry. Unfortunately for some, marketing has blurred the lines between expectations and reality by aggressively pushing capabilities to consumers, overwhelming them with information, and often creating confusion when the signal is good and the network is not performing to expectations. Focus groups confirm that most customers do not understand what 2G, 3G, and now 4G technology means. As consumer anticipation grows, the network technology does not always meet those expectations. If we throw in the bandwidth issue, consumers are even more confused. We all know wireless customers; they are our families, friends, and colleagues. They all have stories of poor network performance. The signal is strong at work but the speed is slow, or the signal is weak at home and the performance varies. At the airport the signals are strong, but the network is very slow during peak travel times. With the sheer volume of data being wirelessly transmitted, the challenges are no surprise to those of us in the industry. The opportunity exists for the industry to better communicate network performance to the wireless consumers. However, operators need accurate information and the correct tools in place to accomplish this. Innovations in coverage mapping are available to help industry decisionmakers visualize and analyze the most accurate coverage information — empowering them to make wise business decisions and implement plans to manage consumers’ expectations. Much like cars on a freeway, wireless networks get congested and don’t perform up to expectations. However, if the “freeways” provide signs with traffic information to set expectations, “drivers” can make better decisions to get what they want. Where will be the signs for wireless consumers? • 3G & 4G RF Design Specialists • LTE and WiMAX Certified • GSM and CDMA Spectrum Planning • Complete Network Optimization • FCC/FAA Licensing & Compliance • SkyView Microwave Software (877) 215-8494 – Supporting Telcom carriers since 1999 with highest level of Customer Service (972) 248-7678 12520 Prosperity, Suite 220 Silver Spring, MD 20904 WE OFFER: p Convergent Prepaid & Postpaid Billing p PoS p Dealer PoS p Customer Care p Self Care p Inventory p Mediation p Provisioning 44 THE 513541_4G.indd 1 VOICE • • Spring/Summer 2011 1/24/11 9:49:47 AM 516506_MindSoftware.indd 1 2/9/11 8:56:02 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The RCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2011

The RCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2011
2011 RCA Board of Directors/Staff
Chairman’s Letter
A Message from the President & CEO
More than Hype — Innovations in 4G, LTE, and Beyond
Industry Leaders of Tomorrow — Cellcom Partners with Local Schools to Provide Technology, Inspire Students
Cellular One Spearheads Private-Public Partnership for Broadband Services in East Central Illinois
Wireless Display Technology Helps Epic PCS Customers
The Continued Need for Interoperability: Bringing Jobs and Economic Growth to Rural America
Spectrum Reform Heralds New Business Opportunities
Politics, Spectrum, and the Anti-Competitive Conspiracy
Innovations in Wireless Marketing
Customer Communications Delivered
Regional Carriers: Leverage Existing Platforms by Seamlessly Adding New Services Through Bundling
The Opportunities of Inter-Standard Roaming
Android Firmware Innovations
The M2M Switch — Turning the Wireless Business Model Upside Down Disruptive Impact Redefi nes the ABCs, Evokes ICT History Lesson
Clearing up the Confusion: Managing Wireless Consumer Expectations
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Cong ressman Lee Terry

The RCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2011