One of the things I enjoy most about working at CommScope is
interacting with smart people who are among the best in the world at what they
do. I’ve learned a lot about cutting
edge antennas, the difference between fiber
backhaul and microwave
backhaul, as well as latency, PIM
issues that dictate a user’s experience.
However, I was reminded that despite all I’ve learned working at
CommScope, I remain a mere consumer of wireless services -- especially at the
mercy of a service provider’s infrastructure decisions and local investments.
Let me explain. I was with my family on a Spring Break ski
trip in an unnamed town in the Rockies. I
was there the previous summer and experienced very few wireless connectivity
challenges in the area. But, I was surprised when it quickly changed during this
spring break visit. I was frequently
confronted with the dreaded “No Service” message. Occasionally, one of the five dots on the
iPhone signal strength indicator would appear. That was usually sufficient for
a phone call to go through -- if I stood still. The signal was stronger inside the town’s
business district, but not in the greater area where most locals lived and
I quickly discovered, single dot signal strength teased the
possibility of my habitual smartphone uses – sending photos through texts, using
navigation services, exploring social media applications and even streaming
audio and video. In my case, I needed
more than one signal dot to use any of those features. Being
aware of my dependency on the modern network made me realize that Millennials
around the world may be on to something with their prioritization
of wireless connectivity. I admit, as the inconveniences mounted, a little
anxiety began to set in. This anxiety led to embarrassing episodes, which
involved sitting in parking lot of a major fast food establishment just to use
their wi-fi to stay in touch with my friends.
Observation and casual conversation with locals and fellow spring
breaking families revealed I was not alone in feeling isolated. That
comfort disappeared when I also learned that many people (virtually all the locals
and regulars) were with another carrier.
Now, my anxiety had turned to jealousy. I watched customers of the other
carrier video chatting, streaming music as well as texting friends and family
with no hesitations. At this point, it became clear to me that the other carrier
had invested in its network for this part of the country. Sure, my service provider had a presence in town,
but a quality experience for the broader community was not offered.
The locals probably don’t understand fiber
network convergence or sector
splitting. They may not need to understand those things. But, they do understand a poor user experience.
On the other hand, service providers do need to understand the ins and outs of
wireless networking and that when they don’t invest, it could result in customers
choosing the competition.
So, let the smart people and products at CommScope help your
network be the one consumers choose.