Why AT&T Sponsored Data Isn’t the End of the Internet as We Know It

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T Sponsored Data has a strong corporate applications angle. Annoying mobile ads may be a concern, but it’s not out to destroy the Internet.
  • If AT&T Sponsored Data seems a product of wireless data caps set too low, competition and market forces – not regulations – should correct that.

On January 6th, AT&T debuted its Sponsored Data service. The service is a way for businesses to let AT&T’s wireless customers access content of the business’ choice on their mobile devices, across AT&T’s 4G network for free. In this case, “free” means that AT&T Mobility customers don’t count Sponsored Data transfer volumes over AT&T’s 4G network against their monthly bandwidth caps. AT&T Sponsored Data has some initial sample applications and intriguing possibilities. A colleague, Kathryn Weldon, published a business services report about Sponsored Data that is accessible to subscribers of Current Analysis content here: AT&T Helps Business Customers Engender Loyalty via Sponsored Data Service, Jan. 6, 2013). Read more of this post

Customers Expect Around the Clock Care from SMEs – Social Media is the Answer

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Customer service is the best way to keep and lose customers, customer contact is the best way to increase sales. Social media is a cost effective way of keeping in touch with customers.
  • Increased use of video can help strengthen a businesses’ connection with its customers.

O2 has published a survey suggesting that 72% of customers in the UK will ‘never forgive’ a small business for poor customer service. In the majority of circumstances customers can accept some mistakes; it is the way they are dealt with that ultimately defines how the consumer views a business. O2’s survey also reinforces the known phenomenon that bad experiences are much more likely to be shared by customers than positive ones. Customers want to be able to contact businesses quickly and increasingly, to get that response at any time of day or night. Hosted contact centre solutions are an excellent way for SMEs to improve their accessibility to customers. Enterprises should also now expect that their contact centre solutions are truly multi-channel combining more traditional IP telephony with online features including IM and click-to-chat.  Read more of this post

4G, WiFi and Roaming – Three Things That Should All Be ‘Free’?

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Premiums for mobile roaming and 4G will prevent business users from taking full advantage of other paid-for services, such as hosted applications and remote access services.
  • Business customers should begin to demand voice over WiFi as a standard part of their mobility solutions.

In a recent statement from Neelie Kroes, the vice president for the digital agenda in the European Commission, she spoke of her “dream” to see a “true, integrated single market.”  Kroes went on to add that “in such a market, there is no roaming.”  The fine details are a long way from being agreed upon, but this statement is a clear indication that the EU intends to go beyond capping mobile roaming fees within the EU and actually prohibit them altogether.  The devil is always in the details with such legislation and business customers will undoubtedly hold suspicions that they will end up paying for roaming one way or another.  There is no such thing as a free lunch and we all appreciate that MNOs have to make a profit.  Vodafone UK, for example, has announced that it is investing GBP 900 million in rolling out 4G and upgrading backhaul and network infrastructure to cope with the rollout.  As this is the investment required for only one European country, the task of convincing operators that it is in their interest not to set too high a price for 4G, and similarly roaming, might seem daunting. Read more of this post

AT&T Expands on Wireless Plans for Project Velocity IP Rollout

Brian Washburn

Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • AT&T expects to add 10,000+ macro cells, 1,000+ DAS and 40,000+ small cells: These and other providers’ plans will keep installers busy.
  • AT&T has timetables for VoLTE (2014) and QoS (2015); LTE Advanced features are on the roadmap without target dates.

AT&T’s Project Velocity IP plans made a big splash when the company in November 2012 announced it expected to invest $14 billion in its networks. To recap what we covered at the time, AT&T plans to cover 300 million people – 96% of the U.S. population – with its 4G LTE and HSDPA+ network. The company continues to invest in spectrum, and intends to deploy distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells to increase its coverage. Read more of this post

Beating Wired Psychology with 4G/3G Fixed Wireless Broadband Access

B. Washburn

B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Mix 4G, 3G, CPE, and processes: wireless broadband can be drop-in T1 competition.
  • For enterprises having a tough time accepting wireless, a trial should be simple.

With carriers’ 4G build-outs progressing, will wireless data finally become an eligible alternative to traditional T1 access sales?  Fixed wireless as an alternative to copper or fiber has been around practically forever: see microwave.  Widespread 3G rollouts sparked wireless carriers’ interest in adapting mobile wireless broadband for fixed applications, a cheap and easily deployed alternative to microwave systems.  In 2007, carrier support of Cisco Systems’ 3G high-speed WAN interface card (HWIC) for its Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) helped legitimize the practice.  Besides direct sales by major providers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, CLECs, network aggregators, and international carriers doing business in the U.S. have jumped on board with the major wireless providers.  Among businesses, fixed access for 3G wireless broadband has been a smashing success – sort of.  The “sort of” is because most of the time, 3G fixed wireless broadband is in the back seat.  The technology wins jobs such as backing up primary (wired) access; fast-in, temporary connectivity until wired service is in place; or as a primary connection, as a last resort.

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