The key to long-term wireless market share is no longer in attracting customers, but in keeping them, says Lucent's local VP for wireless networks, Scott Erickson.
Only by providing mobile end users with high-quality voice, broad-ranging services and thorough customer attention does Erickson believe the handful of mobile network providers operating in Australia will be able to compete aggressively in Australia's growing wireless market and the dawning age of 3G (third-generation spectrum).
Cheap consumer pricing combined with lackadaisical customer service and unreliable infrastructure will not translate to market share, Erickson believes.
Erickson cited a $US100 million network upgrade carried out by Lucent in the US that increased the company's wireless infrastructure market share from less than 20 per cent to more than 50 per cent.
"We ended up fully replacing the infrastructure . . . not because we had the technology, but because we had full support service. We didn't abandon the customer once we installed the network," he explained.
Locally, Lucent recently carried out a $A1.1 billion contract to install a wireless network in all Australian capital and major cities for the Packer and Murdoch telco venture One.Tel. The services of that network launch tomorrow.
Lucent also has contracts with AAPT and Telecom New Zealand, he said.