How can mobile operators attract smartphone subscribers?

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb Philip Sorrells June 24, 2013

A key and consistent theme I have been promoting for several years now is the importance of the quality of the RF network in the world of wireless systems.

When you hear us wireless folks talk about “Shannon’s law,” interference reduction and PIM, it all relates to our belief that higher quality RF makes for higher quality networks that eventually will drive consumer network selection.

(Shannon’s law, by the way, is technically the Shannon–Hartley theorem, which indicates the maximum rate at which information can be transmitted over a communications channel of a specified bandwidth in the presence of noise—in case you were wondering.)

Recently, Ericsson’s ConsumerLab group published the latest data showing that the quality of the network is the single biggest reason smart phone users pick their mobile operator. A key finding was that the quality of the network is up to three times more important than the actual smart phone itself!

This surprised even me, at least initially. But consider this: we are now into the fifth or sixth generation of smart phones. Many users have had two or three different types and all of them are quite good. But when the bars disappear or the 3G or LTE icons go away, the user experience goes back to ground zero.

Of course, cost is always a factor, but the Ericsson report is really looking at the subscriber population that wants a smart phone experience. And that particular segment of the user community seems to be more performance driven and less price driven (within reason).

Did you see the Ericsson news? Have any thoughts about the relationship between wireless network quality and subscriber addition/retention? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.

About the Author

Phillip Sorrells - 11-5-13--thumb

Philip Sorrells

Philip Sorrells is vice president of strategic marketing for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for marketing strategy, linking key trends in the industry into marketing strategies for telecommunications networks.  Mr. Sorrells has 20 years of experience in the telecom industry with Allen Telecom, Andrew Corporation and CommScope, having spent 10 years prior with Texas Instruments. He has led the wireless industry in adopting many antenna system innovations—including remote electrical tilt (RET) technology for network optimization—and pioneering the concept of “agile networks,” which formed the basis for current initiatives in self-organizing networks. Mr. Sorrells has three patents related to antenna systems and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Texas Tech University.