A few minutes with…

By Kim Gallaspy

Since 1997, Hu Meena has served as president of Cellular South helping grow the company into the nation’s largest privately-held wireless company.  Under his leadership, Cellular South has earned a number of awards, including the President’s Safety Award from the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association and recognition from the prestigious Newcomen Society.

PI: What was your first job?
HM: As a teenager, each summer, I worked in the cotton fields with friends in the Delta on Mr. Billy Garrett's farm near Clarksdale. We chopped cotton, sprayed weeds and unmercifully pelted each other with dirt clods at opportune moments.

PI: What is the best advice you ever received and who gave it to you?
HM:  "Do what you say you are going to do." -  My Dad.

PI: Cellular South service was literally a lifeline for many Mississippians in the days after Hurricane Katrina.  What steps have you taken to make sure you are there for your customers in future disaster situations?
HM: Cellular South has invested more than $500 million
in network enhancements and updates – significantly strengthening its voice and data networks in both metropolitan and rural areas, bringing its customers unmatched coverage, capacity and reliability.  In one year, Cellular South added and activated more than 231 new cell sites, created a permanent microwave ring for wireless communications redundancy and security across the Gulf Coast region, and constructed a new 18,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art Technical Operations Center in downtown Jackson that is strong enough to withstand an F4 tornado. 

PI: What makes Cellular South stand out in the very competitive wireless industry?
HM: Through unwavering passion and conviction for doing things the right way for our customers, community and fellow Cellular South employees, we’ve built a company we can be proud of and our customers can depend on every day.  Our customers have come to expect Cellular South to deliver quality, innovative, reliable and affordable wireless products and services. 

PI: Where do you see the wireless industry headed over the next five years?
HM: The functionality on our laptops and the buying power currently found in an individual's wallet today will be in the palm of our hands embedded in the wireless devices of the future. This will bring entertainment, information, money management functionality, purchasing capabilities and our office files to the place we happen to be at any given time. And, of course, the user will still be able to make calls, but these calls will be carried primarily via wireless VoIP (voice over internet protocol).

PI: What book are you reading?
HM: The Toyota Way. 

You may contact Kim at kgallaspy@technologyalliance.ms