Monday, August 30, 2010
Posted by Joe Johaneman in "Apple Talk" @ 07:30 AM
"The US General Accounting Office on Thursday sent out a report (PDF) warning about mixed results for competition in the cellular industry. It said competition had decayed significantly as moves to consolidate the industry in the hands of just a few carriers, such as Verizon's buyout of Alltel, was making it "more difficult" for smaller carriers to offer a real challenge. About two thirds of cellphone users are AT&T or Verizon customers where Sprint, T-Mobile and smaller networks make up the rest."
I'm not going to get into the "more regulation" vs. "market competition" argument here. I'm just glad someone is paying attention to the cell phone industry. According to the GAO, cell plans have dropped 50% when you factor in inflation, and coverage has improved over the same time period. However, they want the FCC to monitor the industry closely to watch trends. Personally, I don't see a problem with monitoring the cell industry at all, and it'll be interesting to see what data comes out of that monitoring if the FCC chooses to follow the GAO's recommendations. I'd especially like to see them monitoring things like data plan and text messaging costs over the next few years.