US Wireless Industry Questions for 2010

Here are my top 10 questions that I am looking to answer when I spend the next 3 days in Las Vegas at the CTIA Wireless show.
  1. Try to comprehend why the carriers are obsessing about 3G, 4G & LTE speeds when all consumers want is a reliable connection?  The industry lacks marketing standards for speeds and the carriers intensionally want consumers to be confused about what they are buying.  
  2. Try and get the acknowledgment and public feedback from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon & Sprint on our poor coverage data and what is being done to improve in areas. Carriers won't admit any guilt but there are a number of companies like Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson that provide services to these companies who will look at the data on their behalf. 
  3. Identify which US retailer will be the first to launch coverage maps (Best Buy Mobile or Radio Shack) to help their customers choose the best cell phone service in their area? There are lots of companies generating variations of coverage map data and selling this now like CarrierIQ, Root Wireless & Nielsen.  They all seem to have lots of data but how much of it is meaningful actionable data.   Google is also mapping coverage using their Android phones and will likely use this data to promote Google Voice VoIP services on broadband.  
  4. Identify which Cable Company - Cox, Time Warner, Comcast, Cable Vision will be most aggressive about wireless services and how will they go to market?  Sounds like Cable Vision and Cox are going to be first and most aggressive.  Comcast is going to continue its Sprint MVNO strategy.  Looks like Time Warner is rolling out at WiMAX VoIP network as well.
  5. Which femtocell manufacturers will get AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile nationwide deals?  AT&T's 3G Microcell will be launching Nationwide this summer.   It remains to be seen how they are going to deal with the overwhelming demand from customers, especially in major dense cities. 
  6. How will US carriers and femtocell manufacturers begin marketing femtocells to the masses similar to Vodafone UK?  US Carriers will remain very reactive and less proactive about promoting their Microcells or Femtocells.  The customers who pay and complain the most will get femtocells first.  Its is speculated AT&T to Spend $1B on Free Femtocells for Its Customers.
  7. Will the US carriers begin to educate their consumers about femtocells and their benefits or will they continue to hide behind their bogus coverage maps.  I don't see the carriers marketing femtocells heavily yet in 2010.   They are too scared about the demand they might see. 
  8. What companies are using Wi-Fi to get cell phone reception solutions are looking to help improve coverage problems in buildings. Saw some interesting companies like Skype, Line2, Trufone who have alternative VoIP solutions to fix coverage problems.   Google Voice is positioned the best in the industry considering they are already mapping poor coverage areas.
  9. What other mobile apps that depend on good coverage (Pandora) would be willing to partner with us and allow us to aggregate their dead zone reports on our map.  Google Maps seems to be mapping coverage already and will likely do something creative with this data soon. 
  10. Understand why we have been doing the FCC's coverage auditing job for the last 8 years and why they suddenly want to get into the speed testing game.  I approached the FCC at the show about using our data and about their trademark infringement had some interesting conversations that are still in process.  However, it seems they are entirely focused on only selling spectrum and don't really care about where consumers who are getting screwed by false carrier claims.  I offered to give them my data but they aren't even sure if they can politically take it.  Very weird.  
Most of these questions are overlooked by the mainstream press because it goes against the grain of reporting what everyone else is.  If you have any direct feedback on any of these questions please email me and I will update the post with answers to them.  I have lots of meetings scheduled throughout the next three days and don't have many openings.  However, I will be spending most of my time at the following events.  Cell Phone Tower Summit, Femto Forum, and Mobile Focus.  Please send me an email or text if you would like to meet for a few minutes there.  All of my sources are kept confidential. 

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