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Business Ethics

Business Ethics

Voicestream wireless was founded in 1994 as a wireless telecommunications company based in Bellevue, Washington. The company’s purpose was to provide cellular service to the Seattle area. The founder of voice stream is the current C.E.O. John Stanton. The company was one of the first wireless company’s to provide GSM cellular service. GSM is a global system for mobile communication, using smart card technology. Since 1994 Voice stream has expanded its North American market from being the Seattle and Portland metro area to include all fifty states as well as Canadian Provinces in their service coverage area. Voice stream has also merged with Deutche Telekom, which is Europe’s largest cellular carrier forming the first transatlantic wireless communications operator utilizing the GSM digital wireless technology standard.

Voicestream’s main business at this point in time is to provide the highest quality digital wireless service to its customers. In May 2000, VoiceStream completed merger transactions with two regional GSM service providers, Omnipoint Communications and Aerial Communications. Voicestream fully integrated all three companies by the end of 2000 setting standard business practices and converting to a single customer-billing platform. Voicestream successfully launched the voicestream brand in eastern markets. Voicestream controls a large portion of the market in North America providing coverage in eighty seven percent of the United States. Voicestream is also one of the most popular carriers amongst business men for they are the only wireless company to offer service while traveling overseas with a worldwide market this puts them in control of most international coverage. The primary competition of Voicestream would have to be Sprint Wireless and AT&T wireless, which until the emergence of Voicestream were in control of North Americas wireless markets. Voicestream is a fairly large company with over six million customers based on second quarter standings of 2001, and over seventeen thousand and five hundred employees worldwide. The company’s revenue is over one million four hundred thousand phones sold since January first 2001. The chief management of the company is John Stanton: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Stapleton: President, Robert Dotson: Chief Operating Officer, Don Guthrie: Vice Chairman, Cregg Baumbaugh: Executive Vice President- Finance, Strategy, and Development, Alan Bender: Executive Vice President-General Counsel and Secretary, and Tim Wong: Executive Vice President, Engineering and Technical Operations. The leadership does not directly shape public’s understanding of the company; Voicestream uses Jaime Lee Curtis as the spokesperson to draw public interest and understanding with witty commercials outlining the general idea of the service offered.

Over the past five years voicestream has established itself as a nationwide carrier in the cellular market, increasing its public awareness substantially since its initial launch in 1994. Growing from a small wireless company based on the west coast to being an international carrier of cellular service. Voicestream has been a responsible “corporate citizen” since its launch providing the customers with an easy way of choosing cellular service. Most carriers are known for the fine print on the contract and brochures stating the flaws of the wireless service, which upon first glance are often overlooked due to the “packaging” of the advertisement. Voicestream on the other hand offered large areas of coverage with little or no “catches” in the plans offered, for instance with Sprint wireless they have certain times of day “ peak time” and “off peak time” in which minutes are allotted based on the average time of day in which people make their calls; where as voicestream offers only week day and weekend minutes which does not allow the customers to face charges based on the time of day they make the call. Voicestream started as a regional company to the northwest area of the United States and has grown to a nationwide company and after the merger with Deutche Telekom voicestream became an international company. Voicestream is the only carrier in North America to offer service in the United States as well as having the ability to offer coverage to customers in any GSM market in the world, which is unprecedented by any other cellular service in the world. Voicestream is definitely a leader in the cellular industry for being the first to offer international service and also on the cutting edge of wireless Internet applications. Starting first with the WAP system or the wireless application protocol, which allows customers to surf the Internet in the palm of the hand on their phone. Voicestreams next launch ensuring them to be the cellular leader is the start of using a new wireless application called GPRS, which is (General Packet Radio Service) a standardized packet-switched data service that is an extension of the GSM architecture. GPRS is what makes the Internet wireless.

GPRS uses upgraded radio base stations linked to a new network based on "packet" technology. With circuit switched networks, the user dials the required number and the network connects the call, allocating a circuit between the two parties until the call is ended. With packet technology, the user will be connected to their home carrier data services via the subscribers handset, PDA or Laptop - typically a WAP server, a company LAN, or an Internet Service Provider - and then send and receive data as required throughout the day. The GPRS network is only used when data is being transmitted, but the user retains a virtual connection to the chosen computer network throughout the day.

I personally would not mind working for this company for in the past five years they have progressed more than some companies that have been in existence for twenty years, it would be enjoyable considering I am interested in new technologies and Voicestream wireless seems to be on the forefront of new wireless technology. The only problem I see with working for this company would be the history it has not been around very long and I feel that a job may not be so permanent with a company like this because technology consistently advances and leaves those who are not “fit” to lag behind they may not be on the fore front in ten years other companies may surpass Voicestream in the future. I know personally they treat their employees very well from corporate executives all the way down the line to the sales agents offering benefits such as healthcare and 401k plans, they are also one of the only companies that offer the full benefits to part-time employees. Voicestream has a zero tolerance policy against harassment and dealer fraud anyone involved in these infractions is subject to immediate termination. Voicestream is also the only wireless company I know of that allotted an additional hundred minutes for the month of September to its customers following the terrorist attacks on America. I actually would make a small stock investment in the company based on its past performance and growth over the last two years.

The character of the company seems to be good they have little or no complaints with their service the guidelines are laid out in plain view for customers. Voicestream also place sales representatives in all major retail stores to provide information to potential customers. The coverage areas are larger (regionally) than the other two major North American carriers. Voicestream also does not give on and off “peak” times for the customers which often times confuses people and causes extra charges at the end of the month that were unexpected.

Voicestream's coverage area in the united states is large but not as easily accessible as Sprints, for instance with Sprint you can use your phone anywhere in the country as long as you are still on their network. With Voicestream they have a different more expensive plan that allows customers to use their phone in any one of the Voicestream markets nationwide, but it is not a standard feature like it is on the Sprint service. That is a major flaw in competing with Sprint for total control.

If I became C.E.O. tomorrow, I would expand the network more and offer service in some of the weaker areas of the United States as well as make the network similar to Sprints in that any customer could use their phone without experiencing roaming fees as long as they were in a Voicestream market city.


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