By Sandy Motley, Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireless activities COO
Friday, November 23rd, aka ‘Black Friday’ unofficially kicks off the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Judging from the recent introductions of new smart phones, tablets and devices, it is clear to say that tons of new traffic will be clogging global operator networks in the coming new year.
While the sizzle, sparkle and shopping are on consumers minds this week, last week when I was in Dallas, at the LTE North America conference,the buzz was around the current market transition toward LTE represents a “Gold Rush” opportunity for service providers to capture customers, revenues and market share.
In the US in particular, this year’s device buying market will be driven by 4G fever. Why? The answer is pretty simple, 4G offers consumers a vastly superior experience – it is faster, better and more reliable. Once customers experience it, they want it. Period.
Based on what we are seeing in the marketplace the switch to 4G is good for the operator too, those that have deployed LTE-based services are experiencing subscriber growth, reduced Operating Expense and increased Average Revenue Per User (ARPU); three of the key metrics used to measure the business.
The next big area for potential innovation is exploring new personalized services. Combining the capacity of 4G with the intelligence in today’s networks opens the opportunity for new, flexible data plans that align with both how customers want to use the network today, and uncovering valuable new uses and experiences that customers will be willing to pay for tomorrow.
I think the most exciting times are still ahead for both service providers and consumers. As this latest holiday season pushes the boundaries and brings loads of new users downloading loads of video content — 4G will be the only way operators can deliver. We are slowly moving from an era of “one size fits all” into highly customizable offering, we all can get the perfect fit — what we want, when we want it at the right price. That is a gift that will continue to make everyone happy in the New Year.
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