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Monday, July 05, 2004
To Go Wireless Or Not
A recent In-Stat/MDR survey on wireless phone use found that most American consumers are not ready to go completely wireless with their phone service. The reason: they want lower cost wireless service and better coverage first.
Many one-person and micro businesses are facing the same decision. We suspect those who refuse to cut the wire are doing so for the same reasons. Yet wireless phone companies continue to try to sell bells and whistles such as picture phones, games, ringer tones, broadband access, etc. rather than find ways to better deliver their core product by dropping costs and dramatically improving coverage.
It's tough to commit to wireless when you can't receive calls in your home office because you live in a dead spot. Wireless is great if you are in a major metropolitan area or driving down an Interstate. But for small business people who live in exurbia, or even a rural village, it remains a no-go.
The time is ripe for a company to combine really low-cost wireless and landline phone service -- especially for small businesses. When will wireless phone companies start selling what their customers ask for rather than easy-to-offer add-ons of questionable value? When the market demands it, and that won't be until one of them breaks ranks. The first to offer total coverage or find a low-cost way to merge wireless and traditional phone service will start a trend.