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.  Continue reading “Customers Expect Around the Clock Care from SMEs – Social Media is the Answer”

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. Continue reading “4G, WiFi and Roaming – Three Things That Should All Be ‘Free’?”

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. Continue reading “AT&T Expands on Wireless Plans for Project Velocity IP Rollout”

LTE: Revolution or Evolution for Business Users?

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • LTE bandwidth will make tablets and smartphones even more powerful tools.
  • Reliability remains fundamental for all mobile solutions.

2012 will see the launch of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in the UK.  It is tempting to see this as the beginning of a revolution in delivering mobile services.  Trials of LTE have already occurred in the UK, with BT and Everything Everywhere partnering to run trials in Cornwall whilst O2 has run its own trials in London.  The promised increase in bandwidth from around 14 Mbps up to around 50 Mbps, and even above 100 Mbps in the longer term, certainly seems to offer a lot of potential.  However, the question must be asked: what extra advantages does this bandwidth offer business users?  Even for consumer users watching YouTube video clips, 14 Mbps is usually more than sufficient bandwidth.  In theory, LTE supports a maximum speed of up to 150 Mbps on current technology.  However, when deployed in the real world, BT has predicted that 30 Mbps will be the maximum likely speed (and then only during low-usage periods), whilst Everything Everywhere has suggested that speeds will be between 2 Mbps and 40 Mbps. Continue reading “LTE: Revolution or Evolution for Business Users?”