Communications Briefs

By Staff On Sep 15 2003 - 6:00am

3G Capabilities Illustrated
On-Hold Time, Churn Linked

3G Capabilities Illustrated

Chicago— Motorola plans September availability in Europe of a 3G W-CDMA videophone that incorporates MP3 player, PDA, digital camera, and digital camcorder, and it turns into a gaming console to boot. Although it's marketed exclusively to European carrier Hutchison 3G, the tri-band model will roam in U.S. spectrum as soon as a U.S. carrier implements the technology. The A920 features a 65K widescreen 20-line display, Symbiam OS 7.0, pen-based user interface, downloadable Java and C++ applications and games and built-in videocamera to make video calls or capture and e-mail video clips. Users can view videos or newsclips in "near-broadcast quality," the company said. When the phone is flipped on its side, it turns into a gaming console with five-way navigation key. A memory card slot is included.

On-Hold Time, Churn Linked

Westlake Village, Calif. — The longer a carrier's customer-service department keeps customers on hold, the more likely they are to churn, a J.D. Power and Associates survey of 16,800 wireless users found. A total of 26 percent of subscribers who rated their most recent customer-care experience as "below average" said they would definitely or probably switch carriers in the next year, the survey found. That's a rate almost four times greater than the 7 percent who enjoyed an "above-average" experience and said they would definitely or probably churn. About a third of subscribers who waited 20 minutes or more said they would definitely or probably switch, but only 12 percent said so if they waited less than 2 minutes. Average customer-acquisition costs range from $300 to $425, "so the ability to retain existing subscribers is increasingly crucial in this industry," said senior director Kirk Parsons. Nextel and Verizon were tied at the top in their customer-care ratings among the seven largest U.S. providers.

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