Posted by: Jim Cicconi on April 3, 2013 at 11:23 am
The FCC’s 16th Wireless Competition Report is out and, as has been widely reported, the good news is abundant. This year’s report achieves new analytical depth and breadth, and marshals an impressive picture of the U.S. wireless industry.
Virtually everyone in the U.S. now has access to mobile voice and broadband service (99.9% and 99.5%, respectively), and 82% of Americans can choose from between at least four facilities-based mobile broadband providers. Investment in U.S. wireless networks is growing at a rate that is the envy of other countries, with total 2011 investment topping $25 billion and LTE deployments expanding rapidly.
And U.S. consumers are reaping the competitive benefits. Americans are embracing smartphones in record numbers (67% chose smartphones in 2012), mobile data traffic continues its exponential growth, and unit prices, for both minutes and megabytes, are falling. In fact, the Report’s CPI analysis shows that U.S. wireless services are a bargain – since December 1997, the CPI for wireless services has declined by 40% while the overall CPI increased by nearly 40%.
Posted by: Frank Simone on December 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Today, USTelecom filed a petition requesting that the FCC declare that traditional phone companies no longer possess market power when providing switched access services, or more plainly, “plain old telephone service” (POTS), and therefore are no longer subject to dominant carrier regulation under the Commission’s rules. Given the many ways all of us communicate with each other these days this seems pretty obvious, but let’s review some of things that have brought us to this point.
The changes occurring in the communications landscape over the past several decades have forever changed the way we reach out and touch someone. For those of us with children, the changes are apparent every time we examine our “telephone” bill, and a quick review of mine over the last six months starkly illustrates the point. Each month on my mobile phone account, my unused AT&T “roll over” voice minutes grow as voice calling becomes a smaller and smaller portion of the communications options my family uses. Thousands of incoming and outgoing mobile text messaging details, most of which are associated with my children’s phones, fill the majority of the call details outlined on my bill. The ratio of text messages to voice minutes for my children is three to one. Interestingly, almost exactly the reverse is true for my wife and me. And what is missing from my home phone and mobile phone bills is as profound as what is included. Missing are the hundreds of voice minutes that have been replaced by email threads, tweets and status updates on social networking websites.
And despite the obvious shift observable in our children, you would be wrong to think the communications shift is limited to those born after AT&T was split into “Baby Bells” in 1984. The very first “baby boomers,” born in 1946, are also switching from landlines to new technologies. Fifty-three percent of Americans aged 65 and over use the Internet and email, and 31% of Americans aged 55 to 64 use smartphones.
Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on December 19, 2012 at 10:42 am
The following may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer:
“We have consistently called on the FCC to gather data from all participants in this marketplace before it can make any policy judgments about the competitive dynamics for the services at issue in this proceeding – TDM, largely copper-based, DS1s and DS3s. We believe the data will show vibrant competitive activity, innovation, and importantly, a transition away from TDM-based services to the IP-based broadband services that customers more and more are demanding.
“However, we continue to believe that focusing on measuring the level of competition for aging, TDM-based 1.5 Mbps services that increasingly are being supplanted by faster, more efficient IP-based services, is misplaced. The Commission’s and the industry’s time and resources should instead be dedicated to developing policies that promote investment – by all providers – in infrastructure capable of delivering on today’s, and tomorrow’s, IP-based higher bandwidth needs of business customers.”