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As the battle for market share rages between cable, telecommunications and satellite providers, cable operators may soon find themselves with a classic business marketing opportunity. This will occur because product offerings that currently include video, data and phone will be supplemented by WiMax giving cable companies a quad-play of services. The addition of WiMax will allow cable companies to offer wireless broadband access at locations other than the normal local home access point.

“Mobile WiMax promises to offer data speeds faster than current 3G wireless networks and over much longer distances than comparably fast Wi-Fi technology, which today is used mostly indoors to provide wireless broadband hot spots”
Source: Marguerite Reardon Staff Writer, CNET News

The Marketing Advantage

Introducing potential subscribers to new services is most effective when the product can be demonstrated. Cable operators utilizing CRM tools such as Sales Force Automation (SFA) or Tap Audit (TA) will find themselves in a position to demonstrate the reliability, quality and speed of utilizing WiMax on sales calls. DSRs can literally demonstrate how WiMax works using their mobile handheld devices, directly to consumers, which is far more effective than an advertising slick.

The Operations Advantage

Integrating WiMax into the sales operation routine will help ascertain the primary objective of SFA which is to increase cable sales by reducing the sales cycle time. This is accomplished by providing near real-time information on promotions, credit checks and service offerings using handheld mobile devices. This has several benefits for Cable Sales Managers which include

  • Faster sales cycles leading to more customers being called upon in a given time period
  • Faster analysis of sales reports and activity as data is transmitted and reports are generated at the push of a button.
  • More time available to spend training new DSRs which will help lower turnover.

The Cost of Connectivity

As with almost any technology, cable operators using handheld devices must normally pay for the SFA software, the handheld devices and the cost of wireless connectivity. By taking advantage of the WiMax infrastructure, cable operations can eliminate the cost of wireless connectivity to outside vendors. Current estimates are somewhere between $75 to $100 per month per DSR to provide wireless access for handheld devices. This amount is normally twice the cost of software and support making the elimination of this expense highly desirable in what is increasingly becoming a more competitive market.

Technology Improvements May Increase Service Area

At the moment cable services are generally limited to areas where the cable infrastructure has been developed (where there is cable). As CPE is developed, these boxes may be able to receive the WiMax signals for signal conversion. When this occurs, cable operators will be able to expand their geographical service map and allow them to compete with satellite as well as other wireless alternatives in new markets.

Tell us how you see WiMax changing the market for cable operators.

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