Editor’s Note: Welcome to our weekly Reader Forum section. In an attempt to broaden our interaction with our readers, we have created this forum for those with something meaningful to say to the wireless industry. We want to keep this as open as possible, but we maintain some editorial control to keep it free of commercials or attacks. Please send along submissions for this section to our editor at: [email protected]
Enterprise and government agencies are investing significant amounts of money to define, build, deliver and support mobile strategies that weave core business processes and data into the mobile network. This, and the increasing mobility of business today, has created a rapidly growing demand for reliability from wireless networks.
So on one side there are the enterprises, government agencies and business organizations feeling the pressure to figure out how to get the most productivity out of mobility. Also feeling the pressure, and on the other side of the equation, are carriers, who are spending more than $45 billion a year on network infrastructure upgrades to support the current and projected growth.
Whether you are an IT executive, CMO, CEO, a business user – or anyone using a wireless device for business reasons, if it isn’t already clear, it should be coming into focus that the mobile network is an increasingly essential component of modern organizations. It is something that can greatly help or hinder productivity and overall business success.
Yet, the tools to monitor and measure it don’t exist.
As the need for mobility has grown, the lack of measurement has exposed a vast disconnect between enterprises needing network reliability, and carriers struggling to provide it. As enterprise users continue to move away from their desks, maintaining efficiency and productivity necessitates reliable performance, and without a system of measurement or tracking, carriers are at a loss when it comes to ensuring that performance.
Most organizations don’t know their mobile network isn’t available until an employee complains. Add to this the fact that these organizations can’t accurately assess the impact of network outages to the productivity of their mobile workforce. That is unacceptable.
With 100 million Americans using smartphones, and tablet use that is expected to surpass 54 million by the end of 2012, there is a management nightmare looming for businesses and enterprises that are struggling to wring productivity out of the vast mobile opportunity. The entire mobile ecosystem – enterprises, governments, tower companies, carriers, etc. – is being negatively impacted by the lack of specific, actionable information associated with mobile network performance. As with most nightmares, it is surprising that there isn’t a solution that puts an end to it.
What if there were a way to get independent mobile broadband measurement data to enable the mobile ecosystem to be better positioned to understand, identify and solve performance issues in their mobile networks? Well, first, there would be improved mobile network availability for all mobile devices, and improved productivity for those using them. Not to mention the establishment of better delivery and working relationships between IT executives, tower companies and carriers.
Our work at Mobile Pulse has given us a unique vantage point on the mobile market, and it’s alarming to see such an enormous gap go unfilled. So now we’re trying to fill it in a way that brings some relief to the headache for both enterprises and carriers. The need for an accurate way to test wireless network performance is paramount to enterprises and governments who are looking to maintain productivity and efficiency from a continually mobilizing workforce.
Andrew MacFarlane is CEO and founder of Mobile Pulse