& cplSiteName &

Sprint: Wireless Tablets Need a Voice to Take Off

Sarah Thomas
11/9/2011
50%
50%

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)’s goal is for every tablet it sells to have a service plan attached to it, but its director of business product marketing believes it’ll take turning the 7-to-10 inch tablets into telephony devices before the wireless versions really take off.

“When [tablets] become a communication device, then you want ubiquitous connectivity, and Wi-Fi can’t provide that,” said the Sprint exec, Jeff Adelmann, in an Open Mobile Summit interview.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the tablet needs to function like a giant phone, but Adelmann thinks it should include whatever the desktop does, including email, text, IM and video conferencing. In addition, he said, it should be connected to the users’ smartphone so that if they get a call on their mobile, they can opt to have it forwarded to their Bluetooth-connected tablet.

Through Sprint’s relationship with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) for its Voice call forwarding and transcription service, the carrier could offer this on connected tablets. Adelmann wouldn’t disclose numbers on how the service is doing, but he said take-up on the consumer side has been solid.

Right now the carrier offers five tablets in its portfolio, three of which are Wi-Fi only. Adelmann said he doesn’t expect any one feature to draw consumers away from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad, which Sprint doesn’t yet have its hands on. But, he does think mobile features that require core connectivity, like voice, will be what drives sales of wirelessly enabled tablets, in general. (See Sprint Expands Mobile Tablet Portfolio and Sprint to Debut 4G Tablet.)

“There’s no one silver bullet; we could fix one thing and not see the needle move,” Adelmann said. “But, tablets today are primarily companion devices. If you have multiple devices, you want to use services across them.”

That may mean new pricing paradigms in which users can share data between their tablet and smartphone, Adelmann added. Sprint already offers this capability on the business side, and it’s exploring extending it to consumers and family plans as well. The carrier also recently began capping data usage on its tablets and mobile hotspots, breaking from its unlimited heritage. (See The 4G Dichotomy and Sprint's Move to Advance Its Network Vision.)

“As we can treat multiple devices as one unique relationship with Sprint, it will help them see how they can use whatever device they want comfortably,” Adelmann said. “Customers don’t care where they have their [gigabytes]; they have a bucket of data and will pull out what they want. We’re getting there today.”

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
miles4000
50%
50%
miles4000,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:49:24 PM
re: Sprint: Wireless Tablets Need a Voice to Take Off


Its really sad to see these features going to waste that webOS supports. You can have calls answered on Touchpad via BT and text was also going to be supported on Pre3 and Veer with an update. 

Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Selfie Game Strong Click Here
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives