Why Hasnt Wireless Taken Off?
Portable wireless devices seem to make a lot of sense for agents and brokers, especially those who take their business into the field, yet the insurance industry has been very slow to join the wireless ranks.
“Today, theres really not an effective broad use of wireless capacity in the insurance industry among life and health carriers and broker/dealers,” says Bob Lotter, CEO of eAgency Systems, Newport Beach, Calif. “This is not what we had dreamed to achieve.”
Lotter lays out several reasons for the lackluster performance of wireless in insurance:
Lack of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the transmission capacity of a given electronic line. While users would like to have all the capacity of their desktop computer browsers on a wireless device, current technology doesnt allow that, says Lotter. “The problem with browsers is that they need bandwidth and an omnipresent connection [to the Web],” he notes. Thus, wireless coverage would have to be at least as good as cellphone service, which itself can be spotty.
Users who find a standard 56k dial-up modem frustrating will be even more frustrated with handheld devices that offer less than 10k in bandwidth, Lotter points out.