Measuring Mobility: More Than Just Speed

Mobile broadband networks have transformed the wireless experience and consumer expectations

By on October 2, 2014

Several years ago, I once drove from my New Jersey office through the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson River on my way home to New York, all the while talking on my mobile phone with someone in Colorado. I remarked that I found it amazing that I had traveled roughly 50 miles along New Jersey’s back roads and interstates and under a river into New York City without any distortion of call quality and without dropping the call.

Today, the measure of mobility expected by consumers has changed. Mobile broadband networks – and especially 4G LTE – have transformed the wireless experience and consumer expectations. We expect the same quality, performance, consistent reliability and coverage for our data-intensive smart phones as we did when making, what today seems, just a simple wireless phone call.

That’s why I was equally struck – and pleased - not too long ago Metro North commuter train, traveling from the suburbs to New York City, that I could enjoy a 30-minute video, uninterrupted, on my big-screen Galaxy Note from Verizon Wireless. (And, yes, I wore ear buds so I wouldn’t disturb fellow commuters.)

What this tells us is that the mobile customer experience – and satisfaction – is based on the ability to connect our device to the content we want when and where we want it, thanks to a wireless network that provides consistent reliability and coverage.

That’s also why competitive claims and “testing” of very narrow measures, such as wireless upload and download speeds, do not tell the entire story.  Verizon Wireless promises customers a set of standards – outstanding network performance, quality, consistent reliability and the largest 4G LTE in the U.S.  I see the benefits daily when:

  • Downloading large files such as Power Point slides as I walk down the street or sit in a business meeting.
  • Uploading a family picture to Facebook for others to see and share in our graduation day celebration.
  • Counting on an application like VZ Navigator to provide turn by turn directions to a hotel in a city I’m visiting for the first time – and having the confidence of finding those directions as the gate goes up at the airport rental car center. 

The point is that none of these regular activities, which we all expect without a thought about “network speeds,” are not  necessarily only enabled by a network that is simply “faster” —reliability and coverage are equally important. After all, speed doesn’t matter if you can’t connect to the network.  As Mike Haberman, Verizon Wireless Vice President-Network Support explains: “It's (about) more than just speed. It's about the quality. It's about the performance. It's about the consistency of the network through our entire coverage area.”

Tags: Samsung Galaxy Note 4, 4G LTE, Mike Haberman