Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Evidence of Consumers Supporting a Deregulated Wireless Market

On May 12th, CTIA filed an ex parte with the FCC describing the "unparalleled value" that United States wireless customers currently enjoy due, in large part, to a very competitive wireless market. I have written about this before, but figures in the CTIA report really emphasize the immense benefits that consumers receive from the U.S. competitive model. Carriers are pressed to provide a wide variety of applications, low prices, and overall advanced capabilities in the mobile phones offered on their networks.

Some key facts contained in the CTIA ex parte:
  • The United States still has the lowest cost per minute and the highest minutes of use of all 26 OECD ranked countries.
  • Over 630 different handset are sold in the United States and consumers have access to over 40,000 applications sold through four newly created app stores. Three more stores and more than 20,000 additional applications are planned to launch this year.
  • The United States has a higher percentage of consumers actively using mobile Internet capabilities than any other country measured. Additionally, more than half of all U.S. wireless consumers utilize a data plan on their phones and U.S. wireless web use accounts for 29.3% of all mobile web access worldwide.
These facts indicate that the U.S. wireless industry has already embraced a large measure of "openness," not because of regulatory mandates, but as a result of marketplace demand. Alterations to the current deregulatory wireless environment will only serve to harm America's wireless consumers and destroy or mitigate the U.S. leadership that has resulted from reliance on marketplace forces rather than mandated "open access" or other forms of neutrality mandates.