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: AT&T Blog Team on July 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm
By Mike Bennett, AT&T Executive Director-Consumer & Government Affairs
Did you know that during the last half of 2009, the wireless industry handled the equivalent of the entire catalog of books in the Library of Congress every single hour of every single day? And that amount of traffic is projected to double each year through 2014. Impressive, huh? How about the fact that, in addition to this incredible data growth, the industry handled over 2 trillion voice minutes, over 1.5 trillion text messages, and 35 billion picture/video messages?
It’s pretty incredible when you think about all the benefits the U.S. wireless market brings to consumers, and the country, every day. It is a true American success story. Since it was released May 20, we’ve been addressing various aspects of the Commission’s 14th Annual Wireless Competition Report, which failed to celebrate this success by not concluding that there is effective competition in the wireless marketplace. This was both baffling and troubling. The wireless industry may well be the most competitive industry in America, and we have shown that it is certainly the most competitive wireless market in the world.
All that we have highlighted in this series of blogs – from investment to price competition to non-price competition – accrues to the benefit of the consumer. The industry has rolled out numerous consumer-friendly practices in the past several years, including the elimination of roaming and long distance charges as well as the introduction of unlimited calling plans. Customer disclosure material at the point of sale has been substantially improved and detailed street level coverage map tools are now widely available. The return period for service and equipment has increased, as have customer self-service capabilities. Consumers can also easily set limits on their usage, and carriers now provide courtesy usage alerts to help customers manage monthly bills.
Posted by: Carl Povelites on July 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm
In the FCC’s 14th Annual Wireless Competition Report, the Commission identifies three broad categories of non-price rivalry among wireless providers, including, (1) network upgrades; (2) product information and perception; and (3) downstream product differentiation. With the launch of a new smartphone almost every month – the new Bold, the new iPhone, the Incredible – the FCC is being schooled in non-price rivalry on a regular basis.
Let’s briefly look at each of the three broad categories identified by the FCC. First, network upgrades, a very broad category that includes everything to do with the network – technology deployed, coverage, speed of transferring data, etc. A person would have to be hard pressed not to believe that there is intense competition (yes, I will say it, effective competition) in this area, where entire marketing campaigns are designed to one-up the competition. The FCC’s report does a decent job in highlighting not only the major carriers’ investments in technology and coverage, but also that of smaller providers and new entrants, such as Leap and Clearwire.
Typical of this report though, while noting positive data, such as the fact that 99.6% of the population has mobile data coverage, 98.1% of the population has mobile broadband coverage or that 95.9% of the population is served by three or more providers, the report looks hard to point out a negative. Instead of admitting that only 4.1% of Americans lack access to three or more providers, the FCC instead explains that 30% of rural Americans lack 3 or more choices – purposely twisting a good news story into one that sounds worse than it is.