Exec says consumers to guide wireless future

Monday, September 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Alan Goldstein / The Dallas Morning News

Consumers will drive the direction of wireless Internet services, demanding solutions that will allow all the devices they use to work together seamlessly, a senior Motorola Inc. executive said Wednesday.

"You as a consumer will not tolerate carrying four or five devices on your body," said Bob Bigony, senior vice president and president for the North America region.

"You'll want to put together your own set of devices that will work for you," Mr. Bigony said at a Dallas luncheon hosted by the American Electronics Association Texas Council.

Mr. Bigony implored electronics manufacturers to think more carefully about what their customers want.

Lots of companies talk about listening to their customers, he said, but too few act on the promise. As an example, he cited Motorola's failure to grasp the demand from customers for digital cellular phones.

During the 1990s, Motorola, which is based in Schaumburg, Ill., was too wedded to analog technology, he said, and as a result lost market share to European cell phone manufacturers.

Mr. Bigony said consumers worldwide would demand and receive reallocations of the airwaves to allow for the new services.

"Over the last 50 years, there's been a continuing reallocation of spectrum," he said in a brief interview after his remarks. For example, he said, cellular phones already have required significant bandwidth.

Mr. Bigony said different kinds of wireless devices would take off in various parts of the world, in part based on language and cultural issues.

A popular new wireless phone in China has a larger screen and is shaped like a Palm organizer, he said, because it's easier to enter Chinese written characters into the device.