Friday, November 18, 2005

New Gear Improves Cellular Connections

As more and more people rely on their cell phones beyond just voice services, the Investor's Business Daily writes "many are getting less tolerant about losing a signal."

Phil Redman at Gartner said, "Cell phone users won't be too upset if a voice call is lost, but a growing number are now using their phones for data services. Not being able to access their e-mail will cause frustration."

One of the main challenges will be providing service inside homes and office buildings where coverage can be spotty. The article looks at various technologies and systems to help boost signal strength and the range of wireless networks.

Ira Brodsky at Datacomm Research said, "The most promising in-building solutions rely on smart antennas that guide and capture signals in narrow beams and cognitive radios that automatically avoid interference."

The carriers hope by improving performance they can also raise customer satisfaction levels and reduce churn. Jason Marachec at Current Analysis said, "Churn is a major problem for carriers. Users will switch from one carrier to another simply because the signal is stronger."

Gartner's Redman added, "In-building wireless system sales have been strong — doubling during the past few years. We expect a 40% compound annual growth rate through 2008."

According to the article, "the market, which has about $500 million in annual sales now, is expected to hit $1 billion by 2010."