Good-Bye 3G - Hello Wi-Fi Frappuccino

from the embracing-disruptive-technologies dept

One of the (perhaps too often repeated) themes around here is always about how businesses should keep an eye out for disruptive technologies and be ready to embrace them before they take over a legacy business. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of companies failing to do this - and not many of companies that really do embrace new technologies before it's too late. So, while this isn't a new story, and we still don't know how it will turn out, it's good to see an article saying that this is exactly why T-Mobile USA is embracing WiFi. When T-Mobile USA's chairman heard Michael Dell say that all Dell laptops would soon include WiFi, he realized that it was a disruptive technology that would have an impact on his business. That's what led to T-Mobile's eventual acquisition of MobileStar, and subsequent push into the WiFi hotspot business. Though I'm still not convinced T-Mobile has the business model proposition figured out correctly, this is still an excellent example of recognizing a disruptive technology and moving to embrace it - rather than denying its existence.
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  1. identicon
    T-mobile, 13 Apr 2003 @ 7:00am

    T-Mobile and a handspring Visor

    Here's my 'lets do data with T-Mobile' story.

    I have over 15 years of UINX hack'n exp. under my ever growing belt. (note: must stop and reverse grow)

    I have a need to call up MY OWN UNIX BOX establish a TCP/IP connection and send/get data. (I also use it to get on 'the internet' but lets not tell them that, as the word 'internet' confuses them.)

    All is right, good an proper for 8 months. Then, one day POOF! No data on the unit. 5 days of calling handspring, they bounce me to Voicescream. Voicescream spends 20 mins and says its a handspring problem, nothing 'wrong' with their service, must be your phone. (Hint: I know its not the handheld. Frank, an associate, has a handspring visor also and it now no longer does data)

    5 more days, and handspring passes the buck back to Voicescream....where it belongs. Voicescream keep asking if I'm trying to 'do internet' and I keep having to say 'no'

    12 days later, like magic, I can do data again.

    Voicescream changes name to t-mobile. Fine. Wonderful. 1.5 months later guess what? No data service again. *sigh* this time around it only takes 3 days to correct the problem.

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