FCC finds lack of 'effective competition' in US wireless industry

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  • Reply 61 of 72
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by masternav View Post


    To find that there is a lack of competition between the US cell carriers!



    Duh.



    ANYONE who has paid the least attention to the US infrastructures for the last several decades knows this - Congress knows it, the Senate knows it, the Presidential cabinets for each of the last 10 or so terms in office have known it. Information technology management people have known this as well. I mean fer cryin' out loud, most of our industries (energy, transportation, telephony/landline/RBOC to name just a few) only pretend at competition - usually at the public level so voters/consumers don't catch on.



    Seriously kiddies - I spent three years doing corporate litigation support for some of the biggest industry fiascoes - you should have seen the documentation. Once you know what to look for and what the trigger words are, it all opens up for you like a popup reading book. Ironically it sounds so much like the conspiracy freaks fantasies that the average person easily dismisses it.





    Complete BS.



    Is the US wireless telecom industry less competitive than 10 years ago? Yes, of course. 10 years ago, the US had 6 national carriers.



    But you won't find any country in the industrialized world that has a more competitive wireless telecom market than the US.



    Canada, France and Japan all have 3 national carriers. Japan and Germany have their largest carriers that has their governments as their largest shareholders. Japan's DoCoMo owns more than 50% of their wireless market.



    UK used to have the most competitive market in the G7, but then their government allowed the merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK.



    Verizon Wireless owning about 32% of the US wireless market is the LOWEST market concentration in the whole G7.



    This is an industry where VZW drop their unlimited voice plan by $30 a month, and AT&T Wireless price-matched it within HOURS --- faster than some gas stations dropping their gas prices.



    You people don't even know how lucky Americans are. As my fellow Canadians have stated earlier, I have to live with 3 year contracts, up to $720 in ETF... The original iphone contract plan in Canada was so bad that it created a PR fiasco all over the web.
  • Reply 62 of 72
    tawilsontawilson Posts: 484member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BananaRaMa View Post


    Lol......I can't wait till they all go bust and get nationalised (in the uk)]



    Why? Because the nationalised phone system we had priori to BT, was woefully inadaquete and under-funded.



    Besides which, the mobile phone market's competition provided in the UK is vastly superior to that of the US and they are hardly likely to go under anytime soon.
  • Reply 63 of 72
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    But you won't find any country in the industrialized world that has a more competitive wireless telecom market than the US.



    ...



    UK used to have the most competitive market in the G7, but then their government allowed the merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK.



    Verizon Wireless owning about 32% of the US wireless market is the LOWEST market concentration in the whole G7.



    Comparing the US and UK markets isn't as easy as that. All four of the major carriers in the UK use the same wireless standards and the same frequencies. Six carriers in the UK currently offer the iPhone. Swapping networks is simple, handset subsidies are higher, contracts are shorter and there's no hidden costs or taxes in UK phone contracts.



    T-Orange may now have ~40% marketshare but the UK still has a more competitive wireless environment.
  • Reply 64 of 72
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    Complete BS.



    Is the US wireless telecom industry less competitive than 10 years ago? Yes, of course. 10 years ago, the US had 6 national carriers.



    But you won't find any country in the industrialized world that has a more competitive wireless telecom market than the US.



    Canada, France and Japan all have 3 national carriers. Japan and Germany have their largest carriers that has their governments as their largest shareholders. Japan's DoCoMo owns more than 50% of their wireless market.



    UK used to have the most competitive market in the G7, but then their government allowed the merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK.



    Verizon Wireless owning about 32% of the US wireless market is the LOWEST market concentration in the whole G7.



    This is an industry where VZW drop their unlimited voice plan by $30 a month, and AT&T Wireless price-matched it within HOURS --- faster than some gas stations dropping their gas prices.



    You people don't even know how lucky Americans are. As my fellow Canadians have stated earlier, I have to live with 3 year contracts, up to $720 in ETF... The original iphone contract plan in Canada was so bad that it created a PR fiasco all over the web.



    As usual, samab, your argument selects it's facts, ignores important ones, and fails to make a coherent point. Even if we grant your conclusion, that the US wireless market is the most competitive in the world, that doesn't mean there is any significant competition going on, it may just mean there are no competitive wireless markets in the world. As long as it's heavily regulated, that would be ok, unfortunately, in this country it isn't. Frankly, more competition "American style" in the wireless industry would be counterproductive at this point, we're already seeing smartphone ETFs go up. Let the regulators turn them into dumb pipes, all using the same technology moving forward. (And we've already discredited your arguments against that.)
  • Reply 65 of 72
    bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    B..b..b..but that's SOCIALISM!!! and therefore not permitted in the 'Land of The Free(TM)'



    Unlike public roads, public services, defence, air traffic management, municipal water & waste management, the high-voltage electricity line backbone...



    My only bone of contention would be having the feds pick the standard. That would be bad and would be chosen at the lowest common denominator.
  • Reply 66 of 72
    oxygenhoseoxygenhose Posts: 236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    This administration is bush-lite and will do nothing. The the GOP wll take over and it will get worse. Vz will buy sprint and ATT and we are cooked.



    All one has to do is compare the USA to EU and se Asia and the problem is plain as day.



    Aside from goblins, illuminati and the fantasies of those who think they are political left... Hasn't Apple single handedly started chipping away at cell market proceedures, both with the iPhone and iPad? If the tiny little fruit company can do it, what need is there for a governement regulation? Or is the idea to get government to simply pay for all the bills you don't like? Is there some specific GOP boogyman that made you to buy a cell phone?



    Maybe look at it another way: instead of wasting the money on shody 'hope' stickers that fade to yellow in less than a year, that cell phone bill for your extravagent lifestyle helps pay for real jobs in the tech industry.
  • Reply 67 of 72
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,602member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sky King View Post


    How sad that most posters seem to want the government to get its fingers into wireless. PErhaps they are too young to remember that it was government intervention and regulation that led to abysmal service by and the ultimate failure of landlines.



    You're comparing apples and oranges. Landline service was purposely created AS A MONOPOLY to insure universal service. The tradeoff was that the government controlled prices in return for giving the monopoly to essentially one telephone system. It is true that as a monopoly, there was not a lot of technical innovation, but it was a very reliable and low-cost system. The landline system did not fail because of government intervention. It is in the process of fading simply because of disruptive technology. Few individuals really need landlines anymore, although I would maintain that cell phone service is still not reliable enough to replace all landlines (like in my apartment for example, where AT&T works only some of the time.)



    The problem today is that even though there are multiple carriers in the U.S., each is acting as if they are a monopoly. The government does need to be involved - not to get involved in the day-to-day of their operations, but to insure that the industry doesn't become even more of a monopoly, by for example, either AT&T or Verizon buying T-Mobile.



    The other issue is carriers promising and charging for service that they don't deliver.



    And I think the price the carriers advertise is also absurd - they should be forced by the FTC to advertise a price that includes all taxes and fees.



    Do you know that if you call a potential carrier and ask them how much your bill will be including taxes and fees, they won't tell you? They tell you they have no way of figuring that out, that you have to wait until your first bill.



    IMO, that's why and where regulation is needed.
  • Reply 68 of 72
    dhkostadhkosta Posts: 150member
    I'm as libertarian as they come, and I don't see this as real cause for concern about increased regulation. No specific action has been recommended, and I commend those commissioners who even suggested to leave it alone. Responsible governance is all too rare in this country, and we ought not to be critical of it.



    For those of you bitching about your bill, you don't have to use a premium carrier like AT&T or Verizon. You can switch to T-Mobile, Sprint, or even MetroPCS. And you can get a phone for little or no upfront cost. Demanding the best of everything and whining about the cost is beyond childish, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
  • Reply 69 of 72
    dhkostadhkosta Posts: 150member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NanoAkron View Post


    B..b..b..but that's SOCIALISM!!! and therefore not permitted in the 'Land of The Free(TM)'



    Unlike public roads, public services, defence, air traffic management, municipal water & waste management, the high-voltage electricity line backbone...



    There are many places where government ownership and management is appropriate, but it's a slippery slope having them own any communications pipeline. Eventually, somebody's going to have the genius idea of policing it. And it'd be completely anti-competitive - innovation would come to a screeching halt.
  • Reply 70 of 72
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHKOsta View Post


    There are many places where government ownership and management is appropriate, but it's a slippery slope having them own any communications pipeline. Eventually, somebody's going to have the genius idea of policing it. And it'd be completely anti-competitive - innovation would come to a screeching halt.



    Calling something a "slippery slope" is classic do-nothing rationalization. Not every action naturally leads to another.
  • Reply 71 of 72
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Comparing the US and UK markets isn't as easy as that. All four of the major carriers in the UK use the same wireless standards and the same frequencies. Six carriers in the UK currently offer the iPhone. Swapping networks is simple, handset subsidies are higher, contracts are shorter and there's no hidden costs or taxes in UK phone contracts.



    T-Orange may now have ~40% marketshare but the UK still has a more competitive wireless environment.



    Ofcom stated that the majority of the UK contracts signed are now 18 months or longer --- not much of a difference between US and UK. Sales taxes in US is lower than VAT in UK.



    Swapping networks may be simpler TECHNICALLY, but the lack of ETF makes it much more difficult to switch networks financially in real life. And for pretty much the last 2.5 years, you weren't able to get unlocking codes from O2 on the iphone --- so that's impossible to switch networks.



    The US market is much more competitive than the UK market now. Americans can end their contracts early --- pay a pro-rated ETF that is hundreds of dollars cheaper than Brits having to pay off the remaining part of their contracts. And when Americans switch carriers, they sign another 2 year contract with a new carrier --- the new carrier gives them a free phone. Pretty much negates the CDMA and GSM technical issue.
  • Reply 72 of 72
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    As usual, samab, your argument selects it's facts, ignores important ones, and fails to make a coherent point. Even if we grant your conclusion, that the US wireless market is the most competitive in the world, that doesn't mean there is any significant competition going on, it may just mean there are no competitive wireless markets in the world. As long as it's heavily regulated, that would be ok, unfortunately, in this country it isn't. Frankly, more competition "American style" in the wireless industry would be counterproductive at this point, we're already seeing smartphone ETFs go up. Let the regulators turn them into dumb pipes, all using the same technology moving forward. (And we've already discredited your arguments against that.)



    As I stated earlier, I never doubted that there is less competition in the US than 10 years ago. 6 national carriers in 2000 vs. 4 national carriers in 2010. Of course, there is less competition.



    Spectrum is a limited resource. That means you can't have 10 national carriers competiting for your dollars. So EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY in the world will have something like 3-5 wireless carriers.



    That's just the laws of physics --- it is like Homer Simpson telling his daughter that she must obey the laws of thermodynamics in his house. What you can't do is now say that "it may just mean there are no competitive wireless markets in the world". Under the current laws of thermodynamics --- the American system is doing pretty much the best in the whole world.



    Secondly, your point that heavy regulation should be deployed in the US is completely missing the mark. The best example to refute your case is France --- the country who outlawed iphone exclusivity, whose regulator demand how unlocking codes should be given out to consumers... You know what? French consumers are screwed because there are only 3 national carriers in France. Instead of making these idiotic heavy regulations, a much simpler solution would be --- SELL a 4th national carrier license in France (which they finally did in Dec 2009).



    Japan doesn't need heavy regulations --- what it really needs is the Japanese government selling their controlling shares in NTT and NTT DoCoMo and selling a 4th national wireless license. Germany doesn't need heavy regulations --- what it really needs is the German government selling their controlling shares in DT/T-Mobile.



    What discredited? All major European spectrum auctions in the last 3-4 years have been technology neutral.



    http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=135425



    http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=119378
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