3 has suspended mobile broadband sales in certain geographical areas until connectivity improves.
The move is part of a broader strategy by the operator
to better manage the explosive growth of its mobile broadband (MBB) offering which
has seen 3 increase its market share of MBB to 40%.
3 met with its direct, indirect and retail channels
this week to explain how the suspension will work. Under the new procedure sales staff will begin any sales pitch for MBB by checking connectivity levels first. If customers are found to be in areas with poor connectivity, sales channels must advise customers against buying mobile broadband until connectivity is improved.
Sales targets and commissions in these areas have also been changed to take account of the new sales focus.
Speaking to Mobile, Marc
Allera, sales and marketing director for 3UK, said: ‘There has been a steady
drip of customer feedback which tells us we need to be more honest and open and
transparent about MBB capacity and this initiative is at the heart of that.’
He added: ‘There are a small number of sites where
there are a large number of customers and to take new customers would not be
the right thing.’
Allera said the new sales process is a
temporary measure whilst 3 builds more capacity.
‘This is just a moment in time', he said, pointing to 3’s
drive to add 150 new sites a week to its network. Allera said 3’s network
coverage will increase from 92.5%
coverage to 98% coverage by the end of 2010 with sites doubling from around 7000
sites to 13000 sites.
Allera said the new rules affect a ‘small
percentage of areas' which he said are nationwide and can vary. He attributed the
capacity problem largely to high sales of 3 in certain areas.
He insisted sellers in these areas will not lose out. ‘We
have adjusted the targets so that the stores in these areas are not hit in the