BitDepth 714 - January 19

After Beyoncé's concert, TSTT needs to show me some love. Hello?
Apres Beyoncé La

Beyoncé performing at England's O2 Arena.

There's been much ado about what's wrong with TSTT's decision to produce the Caribbean stop of Beyoncé Knowles' tour, but here are some corporate issues that even the singer's magnificent legs won't help us to forget.

Mobile broadband
The telecommunications company and, to be fair, its rival, Digicel, remain far behind the curve in delivering broadband to handheld Internet devices. In 2010, let's be blunt, Edge and GPRS are a lousy way to access the Internet.
TSTT's forthcoming WiMax service promises to add value to that space, but it won't serve any Internet capable cellular phones in use today. What it will do, quite likely, is put a long overdue bullet in the head of the service currently described as 'Blink on the go,' which is hobbled by service still in the hundreds of kilobits and absurd bandwidth caps.
Popular current 3G Internet services are pushing up toward 7Mbps speeds and this country's mobile handset market is heading toward 150 percent saturation.

Clearly the next push in that space has to be in building more services into underused mobile phones and true mobile broadband, coupled with tethered capability and USB modems for laptop users seems like the logical next step.
It can't be the licensing fees. TATT's pricing for technology introduction is clearly designed to encourage growth. The annual licensing fee for a radio station, for instance, is just $10,000.
DSL as a technology is heading toward a dead-end and fibre optics to the home is the current standard in leading edge wired distribution. AT&T's DSL offering in the US tops out at 6Mbps for US$35 and Verizon's FiOS fibre optic service starts at 15Mbps for US$50.
Laying wire is an expensive, time consuming exercise and current GSM compatible 3G technologies are being deployed with several upgrade paths to newer, faster wireless technologies. Time to start bolting some 3G antennas to your wireless transmission infrastructure, guys.

Link brand and business
On the subject of Beyoncé, and there's a subject that few tech minded males can never tire of, what's the brand link? We know who TSTT is, but what has our image of the company got to do with the sexy singer?
For that matter, what did any of the other major concerts hosted by TSTT have to do with the brand? Effective tie-ins are the order of the day with brand associations, and simply bouncing two big names together is no guarantee that sparks will be generated. The people I've met at TSTT are way too smart to think that gratitude has any meaning in marketing terms. 

From a marketing perspective, the protests about the concert have been a gift for the telecoms provider, since Beyoncé and TSTT are knit together more tightly than all the advertising and promotion could have managed.
But where's the texting competition, the Facebook and Twitter ticket giveaway, the random draw for a ticket among customers signing up for a new cheap Blackberry? 
Digicel has been all over this kind of brand-service linkage with their Rising Stars competition, which is driven, at core, by texting on their service.

Service, service, service
How about some of that customer care love? Not the occasional actual helpful person on the floor in your outlets (though those are welcome when they can be found), but a real, corporate effort to invest in recognising customers as more than individual bills. I pay for two landlines, two cell phones and were it not for some flaky old TSTT technology in my area, I'd also still be a broadband subscriber.
Despite this windfall of regularly paid cash, TSTT institutionally continues to treat me as a collection of bills that happen to be posted to the same address.
The new family plan for cell phones made it possible for me to merge those commitments into one billing and to pool minutes, but the bill itself is so dauntingly incomprehensible that I don't feel much better off.

If TSTT wants to be the provider of choice for a growing range of services, now including television delivered via Internet protocols, three options for broadband service, security monitoring and those old standards, landline and mobile telephony, then it needs to be dramatically more customer-centric when people buy into their services in grappe.
Why don't subscribers to multiple services step higher up the tier of customer service, perhaps getting to speak to someone with a Trini accent in customer support as a default?Why no concierge service for premium customers when they want to buy concert tickets? 
I want some love for my money along with the sometimes shaky technology implementations and if Beyoncé isn't going to hold my own, personal hand and tell me it's alright, then you need to sing me a sweeter song.
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