May 1, 2005 12:00 PM, [Compiled by Mary Davis] email@example.com
A new opinion poll of 78 information technology and telecom decision makers at US transportation companies shows increased adoption of wireless technology in day-to-day business operations as a cost-effective way to improve operations and customer service, according to information from Nextel, Reston, Virginia.
Nextel commissioned Harris Interactive, Rochester, New York, to conduct the poll.
“The goal of the survey was to document the emerging role of wireless communications in large and medium-sized enterprises in transportation,” said Barry Goodstadt, vice president and senior consultant for the Customer Loyalty Management Research Group at Harris Interactive.
“We elicited a very detailed response from participants by investigating not only the wireless devices and applications companies are using, but also by examining the wireless benefits and network attributes they most value, as well as the return on investment and competitive advantage they are deriving. Viewed through these many lenses, this snapshot of wireless communications signals the technology's strategic significance and growing foothold in the industry today.”
The wireless technology adoption is fueled by the availability of push-to-talk service, wireless local area network (WLAN), and global positioning systems (GPS) solutions, as well as a desire by companies to extend their wireless barcode scanning capabilities.
The survey found the industry's top four uses of wireless technology as cellular calls (98%) for use by executives and sales staff, push-to-talk service (69%), Blackberry (Nextel product) devices (58%), and barcode scanning (60%).
In addition, transportation firms highlighted the growing use of WLANs for their office campuses and warehouses.
The transportation sector also identified geographic coverage (67%) as the primary criterion for selecting a wireless carrier, far outpacing data network speeds (9%) and pricing (11%), opening the door for providers who can extend their geographic reach to include deeper in-building coverage.
GPS technology is more widely used within the transportation industry, with 69% of respondents using GPS for navigation and routing updates.
A majority (61%) of transportation firms also said they see a need for a combination of cellular and WiFi capabilities, while nearly half (45%) of respondents thought a wireless phone integrated with a handheld PC or BlackBerry device would be useful.
“The transportation industry has a well-earned reputation as wireless trailblazers,” said Henry Popplewell, vice-president, transportation, distribution and retail, Nextel. “This survey underscores that notion, highlighting how transportation firms are continuing to innovate and invest in their wireless evolution — layering in solutions such as global positioning systems (GPS) to deepen the gains they are achieving with wireless voice and data.
“That said, more than 40% of respondents in this survey identify cost as a barrier to wireless adoption. Nextel is continuing to seize on this opportunity and increase its market penetration by driving adoption of high-value, low-cost wireless business solutions.”
Harris Interactive conducted the study for Nextel by telephone in the Fall of 2004 among executives who are responsible for the information technology and telecom decisions for their company, of whom 50 work for companies with 1,000-plus employees and 28 work for companies with 500-999 employees.
Figures for size of class and industry were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
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