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Improving And Growing | Business Round Table | Midweek.com

Improving And Growing

By Bill Jarvis
Wednesday - March 26, 2008
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Risse Sekigawa, Kara Honda, Bill Jarvis, Kimo Albarado and Adam Ruiz
Risse Sekigawa, Kara Honda, Bill Jarvis, Kimo Albarado and Adam Ruiz are all part of the Mobi PCS team

Bill Jarvis
President & CEO of Mobi PCS

On Feb. 1, Mobi PCS announced its full-service launch for Maui and the Big Island. In my wildest dreams I had not imagined that we would have made that announcement only 25 months after initiating service on Oahu. Everyone at Mobi is incredibly grateful to the people of Hawaii for welcoming us as they have.

In the two years from our initial offering to Oahu customers, I think we have learned some simple lessons on how a company can succeed in Hawaii - even against national competition. Perhaps I should start at the beginning, in case you are unfamiliar with Mobi PCS. We are Hawaii’s first-ever flat-rate, unlimited cellular service provider. Mobi PCS launched on Oahu in January 2006 and is now available to customers on the Big Island and Maui. Our launch on Kauai will occur in the near future.


We always believed that Mobi could compete against national wireless carriers, despite our smaller size. We are nimble, so we can be hyper-responsive to customers, and we know the local market because it’s our only focus.

Over the past months, I’ve come to some conclusions about why Mobi found local acceptance right from the beginning. For lack of a better name, I’ll call these the Mobi PCS Guidelines for Success.

No. 1 - Offer something the customer wants.

Our unique, unlimited wireless offering attracted a local following right from the start. For weeks after launch, I remember meeting people and explaining that there was no catch. Mobi customers wouldn’t be trapped by multiyear contracts. They would never count minutes again, nor would they ever be surprised by a bill because of an overage charge. Mobi PCS was simple, different and better. End of story.

No. 2 - Focus on the customer even after the sale.

Because Mobi PCS customers never sign service contracts, they can leave us at any time. Because our customers have such freedom, we live by the idea that we earn their business every day. That’s right: They can walk away if ever they are dissatisfied with our service. It keeps us focused on doing what is right for our customers while reminding us to appreciate their patronage.

In an independent survey in 2007, 97 percent of Mobi customers said they would recommend Mobi to a friend or family member. We are extremely proud to have earned that kind of loyalty.


No. 3 - Continue to improve your offering.

When Mobi PCS launched, we initially offered two plans and two phones to customers on the island of Oahu. Our customers showed us they wanted more, so by 2007 we offered a suite of options that made Mobi an even better choice for businesses, launched our Mobi Media data services and expanded our calling area so Oahu customers could use their phones on Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. 2008 is shaping up to be another great year as we look forward to offering our expanding services to residents of Kauai and to unveiling a host of other products and services - because that is what our customers want.

No. 4 - Build a team that cares. Mobi PCS only operates in Hawaii. We are only focused on these islands because this is where all of our employees live, work and play. I firmly believe our focus helps us succeed because our customers may not want what a customer in California wants - and that is not a distinction that all wireless companies make. How do you build a successful, driven team? We search for the best employees, for starters. We are also the only wireless company in Hawaii with a significant share - approximately 13 percent - owned by employees. And we try to reward our team members for their good work. Just ask the 2007 Employee of the Year, who was rewarded with a trip for two to see UH play in the Sugar Bowl!

There are no promises that this will help all companies compete here, but the Mobi PCS Guidelines for Success have helped us to satisfy customers, and we will continue to live by these guidelines.

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