Bridging the digital divide in underserved markets
Alcatel-Lucent's Robert Vrij to address U.S. regional telco operators at Competitive Carriers Convention; Expected to outline the critical role of 4G mobile broadband services
LAS VEGAS, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CCA 2012 -- Urging U.S. telecommunications operators competing with the largest, national carriers to think like mobile broadband providers, Robert Vrij, President, Americas of Alcatel-Lucent, today will outline new service and revenue possibilities enabled by 4G/LTE technologies – and ways to efficiently invest in these technologies.
In his keynote address at the 20th annual Competitive Carriers Convention in Las Vegas, Mr. Vrij will encourage regional, competitive carriers to step outside their traditional role and begin thinking about new, innovative services that they can now offer globally. Mr. Vrij is also expected to urge operators to consider the economic and societal implications of being able to provide broadband (wirelessly via 4G/LTE) to markets and areas that are currently un-served or underserved.
As part of his remarks, Mr. Vrij will discuss how advanced technologies have transformed communications networks from a function of wireless and fixed-access to more of a lifeline, noting that consumers depend on it more than ever to get things done and stay in touch, no matter when or where they are. As a result, making mobile broadband service more accessible is a core building block for economic growth, education, and national competitiveness.
"We see the availability of 4G technologies as a key enabler to deliver meaningful broadband services – from remote medical care to e-learning - in areas where traditional 'fixed' broadband is not available," said Mr. Vrij. "With tablet sales in rural markets alone expected to surge more than 50% (CAGR) in the next four years, competitive carriers have an opportunity to position themselves now as broadband operators with services that can generate customer value and boost the economy."
Vrij will cite several statistics that speak to the need for providing mobile broadband services more universally in the US, including:
- Rural America comprises the largest portion of unserved and underserved broadband population. (1)
- At the national level, unserved or underserved broadband households represent 6.1% of all households. (2)
- Making broadband 100% available would result in the retention/creation of 117,000 jobs in the 19 US states with the lowest broadband penetration. (3)
- Broadband is essential to the 26 states that have state virtual schools as it increases learning access in rural areas. (4)
Mr. Vrij's remarks will also provide examples of some of the many new, creative ways that competitive carriers can work together, with new cross-industry ecosystems and with local governments and utilities to efficiently begin providing mobile broadband services via 4G/LTE technologies.
CCA is the nation's leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA's more than 100 members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.competitivecarriers.org.
1. Source: FCC (2010). National Broadband Plan estimated housing units without service of 4 Mbps download speed in http://www.broadband.gov/maps/availability.htm.
2. Economics and Statistics Administration and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (2010). Exploring the digital nation: home broadband internet adoption in the United States. Washington, D.C., November.
3. For purposes of the analysis, states with less than 90 % of households served by 4 megabytes per second broadband service (standard of service defined by the FCC) were selected. Based on the statistics gathered by the Federal Communications Commission, the list comprises West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Kentucky, New Mexico, Missouri, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Maine. This approach has the advantage of considering only those geographies that are facing major infrastructure access shortfalls, as opposed to a demand (penetration) problem.
ABOUT ALCATEL-LUCENT (EURONEXT PARIS AND NYSE: ALU)
The long-trusted partner of service providers, enterprises and governments around the world, Alcatel-Lucent is a leading innovator in the field of networking and communications technology, products and services. The company is home to Bell Labs, one of the world's foremost research centers, responsible for breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry. Alcatel-Lucent was named one of MIT Technology Review's 2012 Top 50 list of the "World's Most Innovative Companies" for breakthroughs such as lightRadio™, which cuts power consumption and operating costs on wireless networks while delivering lightning fast Internet access. Through such innovations, Alcatel-Lucent is making communications more sustainable, more affordable and more accessible as we pursue our mission - Realizing the Potential of a Connected World.
With operations in more than 130 countries and one of the most experienced global services organizations in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The Company achieved revenues of Euro 15.3 billion in 2011 and is incorporated in France and headquartered in Paris.
For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow the Company on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent.
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