Agents Unplugged

Agents and resellers who ignore the wireless market will do so at their peril. That’s the word from panelists of today’s Mobile and Fixed Cellular session.

"Wireless is a more convenient and less expensive solution for businesses, so the embedded based of wireline is eroding rapidly," says panelist John Horn, national director of the VAR channel at T-Mobile. "Agents need to take advantage of that. If you don’t have a wireless play, it’s not a very good way to go."

During the session, Horn will discuss the growth of the wireless industry and how it affects wireline carriers and the channel. He also will talk about the growth of wireless data and its impact on the embedded data network.

Although wireless is a relatively new arena for agents, its rise is not necessarily bad news, Horn says. That’s because in traditional telecom agents typically are paid a small residual, whereas in wireless agents tend to be paid a much larger upfront commission, he says.

In addition to cellular voice and data services, Wi-Fi also can be part of agents’ service mix, adds Horn. "If someone has a Blackberry, chances are they also have a laptop, and they probably have Wi-Fi," he says. Because T-Mobile has cellular and Wi-Fi services, agents can provide their customers with a voice, data and Wi-Fi turnkey solution from T-Mobile.

BBR Wireless Management, which helps businesses audit and manage their wireless services, relies exclusively on agents to distribute its services, says panelist Jim Carroll, who is CEO at the company.

"We pay attention to [business customers’] wireless rate plans and wireless bills," Carroll explains. "We save them money by optimizing their rate plans. We service businesses with 100 or more cell phones."

During the session, Carroll plans to discuss various fixed and mobile wireless solutions and important issues surrounding the wireless marketplace.

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