Archive for March, 1998

PrimeCo Hawaii – Setting sights on quality digital service

March 1, 1998

Like the Internet Service Provider industry, there has been a tremendous influx of cellular companies here in Hawaii for the past few years. From analog or digital-only carriers to a combination of both, the cellular industry is a stiffly competitive market forcing each company to form their own niche, a means by which to define themselves.

From its launch on November 13th, 1996, PrimeCo Hawaii set its sights at providing the highest quality, digital cellular service in Hawaii.

Jeff Brennan, Vice President and General Manager of PrimeCo Hawaii explains, “Our goals were to launch with a solid footprint (coverage area) and provide the best voice clarity on the island.”

This is probably the ideal, optimistic way that most companies would like to set their initial goals. I challenged Brennan. “How is PrimeCo better than the competitors? How do you prove to the customer that PrimeCo is the one for me?”

“One of the first things we like to do at the showroom is to get the PrimeCo handset into their hands and let them hear the quality for themselves,” said Brennan. Getting the handset into the customer’s hands and letting them test it for themselves was the best way to prove how clear the reception and sound quality of PrimeCo’s digital network really was.

What about the whole digital versus analog debate? There are many sides to this great debate. What really are the main differences that separate the capabilities of a digital handset as opposed to an analog one? He expressed that, first and foremost, the voice quality is much, much better. Then you start getting into email, text messaging, caller ID, enhanced voice mail, increased security (digital encryption) and battery life, and the advantages starts stacking up.

With better voice quality and features than many of the competitors, one has to wonder how PrimeCo is in the customer service department. You can have the best quality product, but if your customer service is poor, you cannot succeed. PrimeCo, however, prides themselves on their excellent customer service and support. Built on a “great people” infrastructure, PrimeCo Hawaii offers 24-hour support to a helpful and friendly support staff. Dialing 611 on the handset before 7 PM will connect one to a local customer service representative, while dialing the same 611 during non-business hours will hook one up to a courteous PrimeCo national representative.

Brennan wouldn’t give exact figures, but has said that they have hit their initially set goal for sales. It was actually a challenge set by Brennan, which, when reached, required him to shave his head. Some of the possible reasons that Brennan mentioned for Honolulu being a successful market for PrimeCo were: that the people of Hawaii like to get out and keep in touch, the Asian influence who is open to wireless technology, PrimeCo’s good coverage, rates and penetration, and overall great words from the loyal customer base.

Now that PrimeCo Hawaii has set its footprint in helping Hawaii keep in touch, what’s in store for the future?

“We are focused on more enhanced versions of text messaging and expanding on our roaming coverage,” says Brennan. Brennan also mentioned a smaller, more compact line of handsets and lowered prices on PrimeCo’s agenda.

I think PrimeCo Hawaii has definitely found their niche.

This URL takes you to the Hawaii section on PrimeCo’s corporate Web site. It gives you a general coverage area map for the two islands that PrimeCo covers: Oahu and Maui. Below, the page lists the various offices and local retailers and how to get in contact with them. If you wanted more on the products or services or company-type information of PrimeCo Personal Communications, then you might want to go back to the main URL (