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Are Your Pre-Owned Handsets Carrier Compatible?

Mobile carriers operate ever-changing networks in their management of protocols such as 5G and 6G. This impacts billions of devices operating on those networks globally. If this wasn’t challenging enough, device manufacturers make the same model of device with multiple internal hardware configurations. This makes matching devices to carriers a complicated and evolving puzzle.

I have found a company that has a new and unique solution to improve device/network fit that will change the way carriers and MVNOs manage BYOD & Buy Back Programs.

I had the pleasure to sit down with Seth Heine, co-founder (along with Jon Newman) of PrologMobile. A newfound and patent-pending capability by PrologMobile aims to help “improve this dynamic relationship between each device and potential “next”networks.” PrologMobile's Carrier Compatibility service provides several benefits to wireless carriers, MVNOs and the MVNEs (Enablers) that support them.

The platform’s capability helps carriers and their MVNO partners get deep under the surface of make and model to understand the radios in these devices, and the frequencies and topologies they support. This is important, because looking at the make and model of a device is like looking at a polar bear on an iceberg. It is what the eye tracks, but misses the all-important rest of the iceberg, notably, the largest part, that remains unseen.

You can’t just look at a device and understand the specifics of the radios the device can support...and that’s the easy part of the equation! Matching that device’s radios to the more than 800+ carriers around the world is a herculean task. Unlike the radios on a device, which are baked into the modem (so to speak) and don’t change – carrier networks are very dynamic and always in the process of transformation.

Hey Jon….. I really Don’t Understand This!

If this bit is lost on you, you’re not alone! Carriers have to constantly evolve the frequencies and topologies of their networks because they have to make the most of the spectrum they purchase. When they buy 5G or even 6G “spectrum rights”, that means they have to shut down other networks (think 3G, UMTS / 4G, etc.) in order to make room for the new spectrum they just bought for hundreds of millions of dollars. This forces carriers to change out the matrix of what their network “is running” so they can make room for new devices. Remember when AT&T & Verizon shut down their 3G networks last year? This is why they had to do that. And will continue to do so with every new network iteration.

So, what is the value of this new tool? In short, it helps qualify and quantify the “fit” between a device and a specific network. Generally speaking, each carrier in each country is running a different blend of frequencies and topologies, so the “fit” between a specific device and the network is very much like a dynamic puzzle. Mostly, the devices don’t fit across the board, regionally, or even nationally. And almost certainly, not globally. This is a huge driver of customer dissatisfaction and drives tens of millions of RMAs (returns) annually, when the network declares that they do not want that device on their network, much to the users’ chagrin. In fact, as many as 40% of devices sold business to consumer fail on this critical point, leaving the device’s buyer without a device the network will activate. This speaks to the enormous scale of this problem.

So, what is a carrier to do? Use PrologMobile’s Carrier Compatibility tool to review for fit and receive an accurate answer in 20 seconds or less. The benefits that will accrue to your organization are many, including:

Increased revenue: Immediate identification of carrier and device fit enables immediate device reactivations. Identify potentially poor fit, and hence service, that would likely result in a return and upsell new devices at activation. Additionally, if your company has a “buy-back” program, this tool will enable you to identify which networks these “out of network” devices will work on so you can get the maximum resale value for them.

Reduced costs: Wireless carriers can save on device subsidies and inventory management costs by allowing customers to bring their own devices to the network. Additionally, by exposing the degree of compatibility between the device and your network, poor user experiences that result in low compatibility can be reduced or eliminated. That means fewer returns and less customer churn, which saves money and keeps customers happy. And finally, the efficiency of knowing immediately that a device is or is not network compatible shortens sales and activation cycle times, lowering overall customer acquisition costs.

Improved customer satisfaction: A key use case for the Carrier Compatibility service is enabling customers to participate in popular Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. Customer satisfaction improves when prospects and customers instantly know the compatibility of their device on your network. This can dramatically shorten the cycle time for new activations. This ease of use can also lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is important to provide this information quickly and efficiently to impatient consumers who may otherwise go on to the next MVNO looking for better support. Customers who are happy with their carrier are more likely to stay with the carrier and recommend it to others.

Competitive advantage: Offering an efficient BYOD assessment can give a wireless carrier a competitive advantage over other carriers that do not offer this service. This can help the carrier attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Environmental impact: Effectively deployed within BYOD and Buy-Back programs, this tool can help reduce the amount of e-waste generated by the industry. It can also lower the CO2 impact of the industry in general by ensuring efficient re-use of BYOD and buy-back devices.

As I’ve written many times, who doesn’t want increased revenue, reduced costs, higher customer satisfaction, an advantage over your competitors and helping with the environment?

This is a new capability and well worth looking into if you are an MNO, an MVNO or MVNE. As networks become ever more dynamic, and devices built for increasingly varied markets, this powerful tool becomes ever more relevant. This is especially helpful in the management of Android devices, which tend to have a much broader variety of radios hidden within the make and model.

Interestingly, some of the systems provided to MVNOs by MNOs tend to be inaccurate regarding which devices are compatible. PrologMobile has saved MVNOs millions of dollars worth of unnecessary device churn using the Carrier Compatibility system. Isn’t it time you put the power of Carrier Compatibility to use in your organization?

I’m happy to endorse PrologMobile in this space and would be happy to make an introduction to their team. Please contact me at and check out their website at to learn more.

Good Selling!


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