ATLANTA, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout this year, when Cingular customers talked, people listened, and talked, and listened, back and forth, on and on and on and on. They talked so much that, for the first time, Cingular today said it expects to carry more than 500 billion minutes-of-use (MOU) on its network this year.
That's a lot of gabbing. But why so much chatter?
Cingular believes the more than $13 billion dollar network investment it made over the past two years to enhance the quality and coverage of its Allover Network is the cause of all the talk by its customers. The network investment gave customers access to more than 45,000 cell sites, resulting in a substantial reduction in dropped and blocked calls as well as improved voice quality.
"It's common-sense business. If you give customers a quality product, they'll use it more often," said Ed Reynolds, president of network services for Cingular. "The investment we made is really paying off for us and our customers. People have noticed the difference and are taking full advantage of our services."
Cingular, which offers the fewest dropped calls of any carrier, said people are using its wireless service for longer periods -- an average of 755 minutes a month, as reported at the end of last quarter. Over the course of the network enhancements, the average length of a wireless call on the Allover Network has increased as much as 15 percent in some markets.
Along with people talking more, there are more people talking. Since the network enhancements began in early 2005, Cingular increased its customer base by nearly 20 percent through the end of October 2006. Additionally, due to the enhanced quality of service experienced by customers, churn also decreased by nearly 20 percent over the same period.
In the past, Cingular announced the busiest calling day of the year, which historically had been Halloween. But today, with all the additional customers and increased talking, the busiest day of the year changes almost weekly as customers increasingly use and rely on their wireless phones more and more.
And while chatter is the main subject matter, data is no pitter-patter.
The network enhancements also provide customers with an exceptional data experience -- whether using a laptop to receive broadband wireless connections to corporate and personal e-mail, surfing the Internet, downloading mobile games, or watching some of their favorite clips on Cingular Video. The consistent, fast and reliable network connections, coupled with easy-to-use applications, have driven demand for data services, increasing the average spending by customers more than 45 percent (3Q/05 vs. 3Q/06). The company expects customers to increasingly use data services, especially on its 3G network, which is available in most major markets around the country.
Add a cool device and it's twice as nice.
Cingular's quality of service is further enhanced by a wide range of devices that help customers take full advantage of the company's wireless offers. Exclusive devices such as the Samsung Blackjack and Sync, LG CU500, Cingular 8525, Sierra Wireless 875 PC modem card and others, allow customers to stay connected almost anywhere in the United States or when traveling to 190 countries around the world.
"The network is the foundation of our business, now and in the future," said Reynolds. "Our focus and investment will continue to be on providing the best possible wireless experience for our customers."
Other things* you could possibly do in 500 billion minutes:
*Estimates based on available information, and uh, best guesses.