According to Jeff Bradley, VP of business data services at Cingular Wireless, the other carriers should be envious of Cingular’s unique starting place in the race toward next-generation services. Bradley knows because he is responsible for the creation and go-to-market delivery of wireless data solutions for the enterprise segment and was previously responsible for building and running the former AT&T Wireless’ enterprise data sales organization, in-building services team and enterprise special bid team. Bradley also served with the Lante Corporation, where he was managing director and a member of the senior leadership team, and in a similar capacity with MCI Systemhouse. He began his career with IBM.
Mobile Enterprise: How is Cingular targeting business users?
Jeff Bradley: We think about it in three different flavors. First is helping business users get access to e-mail when they’re mobile, which we consider to be a basic service. Second is giving them general access to business systems and the corporate intranet through laptop mobilization. And the third way is to provide access to specific line-of-business applications. We see the progression of adoption across those dimensions. By adopting e-mail, enterprises get a taste for productivity and a sense of value. Since most mobile professionals already have laptops, we then extend productivity to the EDGE network. Even limited access through a browser to basic business systems leads to productivity, and that’s when businesses really start to see what mobility can do, and that leads to tangible, measurable value. Managers can identify the business process and change how it’s executed, creating a competitive individual who will shorten cycle times, be more responsive to customers and make better use of corporate assets.
ME: What data services are available now, and what will be available in the next six to 12 months?
JB: I think we certainly offer a rich set of solutions right now, especially for e-mail. The two most popular solutions are BlackBerry and GoodLink, offered directly only through Cingular’s platform. Other carriers have to buy or license the software from Good. We bundle everything together for a good sales and support experience. From a general access standpoint, we’re offering access to the EDGE network through laptops. Cingular has EDGE coverage in 13,000 cities at speeds up to 135 Kbps, bursting to 200 Kbps. This is very appropriate for a lot of business applications.
In six to 12 months, we’ll be introducing HSDPA data networks, which permit access speeds between 400 and 700 Kbps. We expect complete deployment to the top 100 markets by the end of 2006. HSDPA is the international global standard, and over 100 other carriers around the world use it. Users can fall back to the EDGE network when HSDPA is not available. This is a real big breakthrough.
ME: It sounds like Cingular is investing in improvements.
JB: The HSDPA roll out represents a substantial capital investment. We’re doing a lot. We’re integrating the two networks of AT&T and Cingular, we’re filling out coverage today and we’re upgrading that network to 3G. This is all happening simultaneously, and the brilliant thing is that Cingular has approximately 45,000 cell sites and 58 Mhz of spectrum in the top markets, while the other carriers have roughly 25,000. The coverage model is really unique in the industry, and the sheer number of cell sites is a heck of a starting place. It gives Cingular an opportunity for coverage and deploying next-generation services that is the envy of our competitors. We aim to deliver the best network experience in the industry.•