For the first time, Cingular today said it expects to carry more than 500 billion minutes-of-use (MOU) on its network this year.
Cingular believes the more than $13 billion dollar network investment it made over the past two years to enhance the quality and coverage of its Allover Network is the cause of all the talk by its customers. The network investment gave customers access to more than 45,000 cell sites, resulting in a substantial reduction in dropped and blocked calls as well as improved voice quality.
Cingular, which offers the fewest dropped calls of any carrier, said people are using its wireless service for longer periods -- an average of 755 minutes a month, as reported at the end of last quarter. Over the course of the network enhancements, the average length of a wireless call on the Allover Network has increased as much as 15 percent in some markets.
Along with people talking more, there are more people talking. Since the network enhancements began in early 2005, Cingular increased its customer base by nearly 20 percent through the end of October 2006. Additionally, due to the enhanced quality of service experienced by customers, churn also decreased by nearly 20 percent over the same period.
In the past, Cingular announced the busiest calling day of the year, which historically had been Halloween. But today, with all the additional customers and increased talking, the busiest day of the year changes almost weekly as customers increasingly use and rely on their wireless phones more and more.
Cingular also reports a driving demand for data services as average spending by customers increased more than 45 percent (3Q/05 vs. 3Q/06). The company expects customers to increasingly use data services, especially on its 3G network, which is available in most major markets around the country.
raveling to 190 countries around the world.
"The network is the foundation of our business, now and in the future," said Reynolds. "Our focus and investment will continue to be on providing the best possible wireless experience for our customers."