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The Carrier Network of the Future


Convergence, interoperability, predictable costs, quality of service and global support are key attributes of the carrier network of the future

Up until recently, it was generally expected that applications would hiccup when crossing between data supplied from the wide-area mobile networks and a local-area Wi-Fi network.  This could result in anything from a need to refresh a web page or the data being displayed in a mobile application, to the application crashing and losing data.  Further, the automated transitioning from Wi-Fi to mobile networks generally is far more reliable than transitioning from mobile to Wi-Fi on the vast majority of devices.

Now that Wi-Fi is available in many public places throughout the world, including well over 200 cities that have some kind of municipal Wi-Fi services, it’s time to improve this interoperability.  Service providers, equipment and device manufacturers and software vendors need to improve upon the current state of affairs.  

Devices should seamlessly transition back and forth between mobile and Wi-Fi networks, always selecting which network will provide the user with the most desirable experience in terms of cost-performance.  These transitions should be completely transparent to the user, with no fear of data loss, no requirement to restart applications or suffer through an annoying “connection lost, please retry” message.

Predictable Costs

One of the biggest problems that has plagued the mobile industry from the beginning is the volatility of the monthly bill.  The concept of “unlimited” talk and text has gone a long way to alleviate this problem; but as more and more smartphones applications are being deployed, data has now become the surprise entry on the service provider invoice. 

Other accidental expenses routinely occur.  For example, anyone who has driven Interstate 10 through far eastern New Mexico or west Texas knows that at any moment you might get a text message from your service provider welcoming you to plain ol’ Mexico.  Agreements between service providers also aren’t consistent.  

Mobile users simply don’t know what they will be paying when traveling abroad or making extensive use of their smartphone’s data-hungry applications or streaming entertainment.

Quality of Service

It has been said that the reliability and quality of a cell phone call in the twenty-first century is still not up to that of a land line in the nineteenth. There may be some truth to this. “Sorry, the call dropped for some reason.  Where was I?” has probably been repeated more times than anyone realizes.  Verizon certainly capitalized on this in their famous “can you hear me now?” advertising campaign. 

Those that have become familiar with high-definition calls using IP-based systems, including software such as Skype and Viber, become quickly disappointed with the quality of a call over a cellular connection.  This is particularly true in rural areas where older cellular technologies are still widely deployed.

In some cases, services aren’t available or deemed so unreliable that people simply choose not to use them.  “Don’t text me, I’m in Canada and it doesn’t always work here.”

Global Support

As stated earlier in this article, business is now truly global.  We should expect our mobile devices to work anywhere in the world, providing us with voice and data connections, regardless of the country we are in and the country we are from. 

Beyond this, wouldn’t it be nice to finally have native language support when you have a technical issue or a billing question?  In the globally connected planet of the twenty-first century, why in the United States do I have to press one for English and two for Spanish?  International businessman Nabil Barhumi is famous for saying that “the universal language of business is bad English!”  

Support in most native languages, be it English, German, Japanese or Mandarin should be made available regardless of where I am using my mobile device in the world.

Given that high speed internet is now available in almost every region of the world, why not have call centers in each country with native speakers?  These call centers could be contracted by the various service providers and provide native language support anywhere in the world.



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