In This Issue
Upcoming Trade Shows
Industry Insight
Need a Laugh?
Chicago Telecom Professionals
Message from Richard McFarlane
Meet Our Clients
Quick Links

CTIA WrapUp  

CTIA just concluded its annual International Wireless show in New Orleans.  Check out highlights, including keynotes by President Bill Clinton, LTE updates, industry awards and more. 

Thanks to our clients and friends who met with us at the show!
Industry Insight: More Mergers?        
As wireless carriers continue to seek spectrum and scale, reported merger talk abounds.  AT&T and Leap?  T-Mobile and MetroPCS?

Need a Laugh?  
Spring is in the air and the kids are almost out of school. Here's a little spring fever joke: 

Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.

Much to their relief she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper."

Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: "First question: Which tire was flat?"

Chicago Telecom Professionals 
Do you work in the Chicago metro area or have colleagues who do? Check out Chicago Telecom Professionals, and join us for our next meeting.  Email for more info.
Please contact us any time with questions, feedback, or just to exchange ideas about telecom industry issues.  You can reach us at 847-782-1500 or  For the latest information, visit us at


Richard McFarlane
Alliance Telecom Solutions
Message from Richard McFarlane, President




Light Reading has done an industry salary study the last couple of years and in October, they published a report based on a survey of 2,500 people. Their opening paragraph said the "good news" was that salaries did not take a dive in the 2012 comparison to 2011.


They broke the respondents into five groups: Sales & Marketing, Engineering (these two groups made up more than 70% of the respondents), C-Level, Network Operations and Finance. They did not define Engineers, and what was not clear is what number represented design and what part of network operations represented field staff.


We found it surprising that they did not break out IT or back office support. In today's converged market, IT has moved beyond back office and is now truly part of the delivery organization. Content beyond voice is being supported by IT and represents the growth area.


Respondents' beliefs reflected the overall economy, with concerns about layoffs and consolidation. 43% of respondents reported an increase in compensation in 2011 over 2010. But there were more layoffs than those who took the survey last year anticipated.


Our experience at Alliance has been that the industry is cautious, but is being driven by the LTE wave. Most operators continue to look for cost cutting opportunities in operations. They feel compelled to spend money building out network capability and capacity or risk being left behind in the marketplace.


Wireless industry employment has dropped to 166,000 people from 207,000 since 2006, a 20% drop. Revenue for the same period increased 28% - so a big pick up in productivity.


We contacted the survey author to ask where back office fell in the survey and they were not sure because the categories were based on Light Reading registrations. You can download a copy of the survey. 


We just returned from CTIA in New Orleans. This is still the most attended industry event. We go every year primarily to connect with people like you to get your thoughts on where the industry and your company will place its emphasis going forward.  It was a pleasure to see many of you there again this year. 




 Meet Our Client: Melissa Sidwell-Murray
Featured Client: Melissa Sidwell-Murray, Cricket Communicationssidwell

TT: You worked as a consultant for Alliance before joining the client as an employee.  What are some of the differences you see?    

MSM:  The move from consultant to employee was a fairly smooth transition in my case. Having been with the client for a good length of time prior to my conversion made the move pretty seamless. The advantages included the opportunity to really be part of the "team".


TT:   What is your job at Cricket now?

MSM: I am presently managing two teams in the Cricket IT Shared Services Organization. I am the IT PMO Portfolio Manager supporting the Product and Care organizations. I am also temporarily the Manager of the IT Release Management Team. While at Cricket as an Alliance consultant I was an IT Project Manager.

TT: How and when did you start working in the telecom industry?

MSM:  I got into the telecom industry somewhat by accident shortly after graduation for college in 1992. I took a job as a customer service representative at MCI. I quickly grew an interest in the business and the technology aspects that telecom had to offer. Many years later I continue to be fascinated with the telecom industry. The vast changes and improvements in both the business and the technology offerings continue to mean new opportunities for me to expand my knowledge and take my career new places.

What do you think is the most important issue our industry is facing?  

MSM: I believe the most important issue facing the telecom industry is the customer experience. As other industries continue to look for ways to tap into the technology sector the overlap of what traditional telecom companies offer needs to be set apart by level of customer attention and service offered. The ease of use from an end to end perspective has to continually improve in order for the traditional telecom companies to continue to thrive.   


TT: What do you enjoy about living in Colorado?

MSM: I was born and raised in Denver (affectionately called "a native" in CO). I love the mountains and the climate. I love that just about everyone has a dog, that the people who live here are so friendly and intelligent. I love that there is a lot of technology in CO and many opportunities to be involved. This is a great place to live!


TT: What hobbies do you pursue in your free time?  

MSM: I enjoy reading, walking my dog, trying new restaurants and sports (football, basketball, baseball).


TT: What do you like best about working with Alliance?

MSM: I like the  relationship I have with the Alliance staff. Everyone is very helpful, always responsive and understands the culture at Cricket. This understanding helps us get the right candidates in the door.