Light Reading
The FCC needs to create a Wireless Competition Task Force to promote greater wireless competition.

FCC: Act Now as Wireless Duopoly Looms

Steven Berry
12/6/2013
50%
50%

Each day, consumers rely more and more on wireless services to connect to people, places, information, and things. We've come to expect access to data anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, mobile applications and other innovative uses of wireless technology are softening the impact of an otherwise sluggish economy.

But earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a sobering report on the state of wireless competition in the US. For the third straight year, the Commission was unable to certify that the mobile industry is characterized by "effective competition." With data usage continually on the rise, the wireless industry should be fiercely competitive for consumers to continue to reap the many benefits of a wireless world. (See LTE: The Bridge to the Digital Divide .)

Just a few years ago, the US wireless industry enjoyed robust competition, with numerous carriers at the national and regional level competing to service customers, and consumers had choices in almost every market. This competition resulted in steadily improving services at rapidly decreasing prices, thriving innovation, a growing industry, and, most importantly, a win for consumers.

Unfortunately, the market has changed, and the FCC's most recent wireless competition report confirmed that the wireless industry is in imminent danger of reverting back to the duopoly of its early days. Going down this dangerous path will reduce consumer choice and raise prices, but also hold back the nation's sputtering economic recovery.

History shows that preserving and enhancing wireless competition is a vital means of driving economic growth and job creation, maintaining our nation's global competitiveness, promoting continued innovation, and enhancing consumer welfare. But wireless competition can thrive only with effective safeguards to prevent the accumulation and exercise of market power into a few hands -- rules and policies that prohibit excessive consolidation and preserve access to key inputs like spectrum, devices, and networks for consumers.

To promote a healthy, competitive wireless marketplace, Competitive Carriers Association, which represents the interests of more than 100 competitive wireless carriers, including rural, regional, and national providers, urges the FCC to create a Wireless Competition Task Force. This Task Force should be charged with developing and implementing proposals for promoting greater wireless competition, such as:

  • Updating the FCC's "spectrum screen" and designing pro-competitive auction processes;
  • Ensuring access to commercially reasonable data roaming agreements;
  • Maintaining essential interconnection obligations;
  • Promoting competitive access to devices; and
  • Respecting consumer choice when making universal service support determinations.

Relaxing policies that safeguard competition has led to an excessive amount of consolidation in the wireless industry, ultimately to consumers' detriment. As the industry retreats step-by-step towards a stagnant duopoly, with two carriers dominating the marketplace, the FCC should undertake a holistic review of its rules and policies that effect mobile competition.

Taking steps now to restore competition will allow the industry to continue to innovate and grow under a light touch regulatory regime, as opposed to a market that needs to be disciplined by heavy-handed regulation in attempt to replicate the benefits of competition.

These are exciting times for consumers. Broadband networks are empowering people who have access to these high-powered, information highways to do amazing things. Wireless service is allowing more people to tap into these powerful networks – provided consumers have choices, and access to service plans and devices that fit their budgets and lifestyles. The wireless industry is at a critical juncture, and the FCC should act decisively to restore competition and all of the benefits it entails.

— Steven K. Berry, President & CEO, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/6/2013 | 4:42:27 PM
Competition
All good points that I personally agree with - do you need 5 owned-operated networks in each marker to handle the growth in mobile or 2-3 strong, robust networks.  I believe having fewer, stronger networks are better.  And as far as competition??? You can walk into any Best Buy or WalMart and have a choice of several mobile companies to choose from - and many offer cheaper plans that run on the same national networks of the owned-operated networks.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/6/2013 | 1:39:30 PM
I guess it is time to say
Yeah, what we need is wireless CLECs.  That worked out SO well (note this is intended to be dripping with huge amounts of sarcasm) in the wireline network.

I think we need to do anything BUT ask the government to make a competitive market.  We already learned that this can not be done.  If there is economic value in building a 3rd or 4th network, then it will form.  If there is no economic value, then T-Mobile and Sprint will slowly go the way of the dodo.

seven

 
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
PICMG, which develops open modular standards for embedded computing, looks ahead to the next decade.
As it embraces SDN and NFV, the networking industry needs to ensure it doesn't create new silos and repeat the innovation-stifling mistakes of its past.
Give it up for the optical specialists who are more than mere 'plumbers.'
Operators can cut the cost and complexity of extending legacy services to all-IP environments.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed