Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Loyalty is a three letter acronym

Kevin Tofel wrote a piece for GigaOm today titled "With Today's Smartphones, Carrier Loyalty is Fleeting". He covers a survey by NSN which showed that smartphone owners are least likely to stick with their current  carrier.

That got me thinking... what things drive loyalty?

In the US, the iPhone has an outsized impact. It is a highly coveted device, exclusive to a single operator. In the article, Kevin offers his own insight, saying to generate loyalty, operators should strive to provide great coverage at a reasoable price. And if they can supplement their network with some desirable value-add service, all the better.

With that said, how about Smart Wi-Fi (aka UMA)?

In a Sept 13th post, Om Malik said the reason he sticks with T-Mobile is because of UMA technology on his  Blackberry Bold.

Wow. Here's a tech trendsetter who eschewed iOS and Android because of a feature on a phone provided by his carrier. Powerful.

But dig deeper, and read the comments posted to Om's article. You can immediately get a feel for the passion and emotion people have about UMA and T-Mobile:
- "UMA for us is a godsend."
- "I agree that [UMA] is a great differentiator…"
- "I rely on UMA to keep me connected…"
- "I love UMA on my Nokia phone…"

It goes on and on.

So mobile operators, the next time you're thinking "What can I do to increase loyalty?"  I would check out Smart Wi-Fi (aka UMA).

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