Verizon Wireless is supporting most of the major tablets in the market and these are devices in interest of filmmakers and film fans. Therefore to learn more about this subject we interviewed Ken Muché who responsible for all public relations and philanthropy for Verizon Wireless in Southern California. Ken writes on a variety of topics, including corporate giving initiatives, and how customers are using the company’s 4G LTE network to enhance their lives at home, at work and in their communities. Ken also tweets about local Verizon Wireless happenings on Twitter, using the handle @vzwken. With twenty years’ experience in public relations, he managed media relations at a healthcare system in Los Angeles before joining the Verizon Wireless public relations team in 2000.
Bijan Tehrani: Verizon MiFi has been a device loved by our readers, because of the power it has, what are the latest MiFi updates that we will see heading into the New Year?
Ken Muche: I think one of the biggest changes that we have seen in 2014 and that will continue into 2015 is taking our network to the next level. The MiFi devices that we had in the past year were on our 4G LTE network, but in 2014 we launched a new network and our new devices will all be on that new network — the XLTE network. What is great about XLTE, is that it is not only coast to coast, and you can use it all throughout southern CA, but that doubled our capacity in the major markets with XLTE. We basically doubled our lanes and got ahead of consumer demand. As the demand has risen in the past year we have been able to provide the reliability that customers expect from Verizon. We are now seeing those XLTE chipsets in MiFi devices and there are other things we are doing behind the scenes on our network to make it more efficient. Next year we are going to be working on and testing the concept of combining different frequencies to give us more capacity and it is something that is really exciting looking into next year.
BT: We see more and more support of Verizon from different tablets; can you please expand on that?
KM: Yes, we have Sony tablets and tablets that are iOS. We have a whole range of tablets and we now have all these choices that in past years you could not find form your wireless carriers. There are more options in terms of whether you are looking for more value or something higher-end. There are multiple screen sizes and platforms, etc. I think an interesting industry trend is the growth of the Phablet, a phone and tablet mix, like the Samsung Note III for example, which are great for watching Netflix and videos that you can take. This is a whole new category that happened in 2014. I also know your readers are interested in taking video. Now we have some devices like the LG-G3, for example, and others, that have this 4X HD video capability. You are looking at four times the video resolution of your HD TV at home. These videos are incredible and they are so much better than the quality that you would see even on your home system.
BT: What are other devices besides tablets that are supported by Verizon?
KM: When you look at the quantity of products, the area that is experiencing explosive growth in the past year has been the “Smart Accessory” category. Some people might think of the smart watches, but it is actually a lot more than that. When you walk into our new stores they are filled with smart accessories. They are very open and a very comfortable stores with lifestyle zones. You will see products from Leap Frog and Crayola. And there are toys from Parrott with HD video that you can control from your Smartphone. We have a “home” section where you can automate your home, from light switches to appliances and motion sensors. There are automated locks and the Nest thermostat that is popular. We also have a section that will let you automate your car so you will have the same information that the mechanic does, which can be a huge benefit, because how much can you trust your mechanic and the information he gives you?
BT: Filmmakers can use MiFi for transferring video footage as a high rate, how is it that MiFi is faster than the LAN connection?
KM: At the end of the day it comes down to people. We have some really smart people and they are doing things behind the scene that other providers are not doing. First, they are always focusing on consumer demand for today plus what the demand will be 18 months from now and even three years from now. That’s because what happens over time is that these smart accessories take off in popularity and use more data, but we have built plenty of room on our XLTE network for all that data so our customers have a positive experience. That puts us ahead of our competitors. Second, there are folks who write about this in the press and talk about how carriers slow down your speed for your entire billing cycling if you go over your data allotment. We have managed our network so well that our approach is completely different. We are not going to slow you down for your entire billing cycle. If you go over your data limit you will only be slowed down if you are using a cell site that is congested. But, the minute you’re off that cell site we will speed you back up like always. We can do that because we’ve built extra capacity into our network. For our customers, that means they can experience those fast XLTE speeds more often in more places.