Cost holding back wireless adoption, claims Motorola

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By  Published  October 20, 2006

The high cost of wireless broadband is holding back its adoption, according to a senior Motorola executive.

Speaking to IT Weekly at the Motorola Innovation Day event in Paris this month, Nicolas Demassieux, director of European communication research and director of global broadband wireless research, said he believed demand for wireless broadband would rise dramatically if the cost for users could be reduced.

Demassieux said that one of Motorola’s biggest aims is to drive down these costs — an objective which would drive up sales for the vendor.

He claimed that Motorola’s aim is to drive down the cost of broadband wireless internet access until it is just 20 to 30% more expensive than fixed access.

“If we can drive the cost of broadband wireless very drastically down then it will have a big impact on the market landscape,” he stated.

“Because that would drive demand, that would drive service revenue, service applications, new applications, and new opportunities to create a smart experience for the users.”

Demassieux said that the firm plans to adopt a systematic approach to reducing broadband wireless costs by breaking it down into segments.

“We have a very systematic method to look at the cost of an operator — we break it down into segments. For instance, one segment is radio, one segment is customer care. We have a lot of segments to work on to really get that cost down,” he explained.

“I’m not just talking about the cost of the phone. I’m talking about the cost of the network, plus the cost of the phone — the whole thing.”

“We break composite costs into cost elements — such as the cost of deploying a broadband network, the antenna cost, the radio costs. What is the cost of the phone, how do you maintain that network and how do you take care of your customers?”

He described driving down these costs as “a fundamental need” and went on to add that the cost of wireless compared to fixed broadband is currently disproportionate.

As well as increasing market demand, lowering costs would help achieve another of the firm’s objectives — to connect the unconnected — the next billion people in the world who do not use mobile phones or the internet.

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