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Smart LTE 1 - Enter Into Long Term Evolution

For those of you who may not have heard the biggest news to hit the cellular network market this Summer 2011, Smart launched a brand new Internet service, the Smart Long Term Evolution, or Smart LTE, as a 4G Internet service, over the Holy Week, in Boracay Island, no less. From April 20, 2011 up to April 24, 2011, Smart Communications, Inc. put up booths, hosted an event and coordinated with bloggers in order to let everyone try the new technology.

I was honestly impressed with the speeds of the new 4G service. I was able to try opening a video on a computer they put up for testing, and I was awed at how the buffer was soon up to midway of its timeline almost as soon as I clicked it open.

However, I was not impressed with one thing: they do not have stocks of the service and its accompanying gadget on-hand.

As a consumer, I find that it's bad practice for sales and marketing for a company to launch a new service WITHOUT the product available ON THE LAUNCH ITSELF. Okay, so Apple gets away with it time and again. Maybe that's why companies nowadays try to get away with it as well. But still! If you were a consumer, would you appreciate it if you were already ready to buy the product but you can't get your hands on it because the company hasn't gotten its act together, just yet?

I know I won't.

But anyway. Here are my reasons why it may be a better idea to have your product on-hand if you're planning on a major event for its launch:

  1. There may be consumers who have the money and are ready to buy the product as soon as you could let them get their hands on it. That would translate to thousands to even millions of pesos on a headstart in sales.
  2. If you don't play your ad campaign strategy well, you may end up with bummed consumers. Some consumers don't take too kindly to delays. And if you deliver a product that doesn't meet the hype, you'll get more disgruntled consumers than happy, satisfied and excited ones.

Thus, I'm challenging Smart Communications: strike while the iron is hot. Yes, you've drummed up the hype for your product, but make sure that your follow through is as excellent as the hype you've managed to stir up. Take the lesson from Globe Telecom. While they have delivered inferior products in the past, they eventually listened to their consumers and improved on their offerings. Will your LTE be up to scratch? Let's hope it delivers what it promised. I, for one, will be on the lookout for its actual market launch.

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