Mobile Future

Mobile Future FCC Comments Point to Robust Competition Across Modern Wireless Landscape

JULY 30, 2010

Mobile Future FCC Comments Point to Robust Competition Across Modern Wireless Landscape

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) request for comments to assist in data collection for the Fifteenth Annual Report on the State of Competition in Mobile Wireless, Mobile Future today filed comments detailing how competition is defining the modern mobile marketplace.

“Mobile competition thrives in the diverse carrier choices made available to U.S. consumers. But that’s just the beginning of the competition story today. Many of us who follow the wireless sector closely are familiar with the interplay among competition, consumer choice and light-touch regulation that drives this dynamic and innovative marketplace,” said Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter. “These comments reflect the many ways competition and choice drive mobile innovation throughout the United States. We hope it will encourage and illuminate a constructive path forward for consumers and policymakers.”

Mobile Future’s comments point to the FCC’s historic resistance of heavy regulation as the genesis for a fiercely competitive marketplace with the lowest per-minute voice prices, largest 3G customer base and most diverse and ingenious applications and device markets. This wise policy approach is fostering an array of consumer choice in wireless devices, mobile applications, service providers, and pricing, including:

  • More than two-thirds of Americans can choose among five or more facilities-based wireless providers; 91% can choose from four or more; and 96% have a choice of three or more wireless providers.
Service Plans
  • Plans range from family discounts to pre-paid, no contract options, and post-paid plans. A variety of unlimited plans are available that bundle voice, data, text messaging, or web services for as little as $40 a month. And data only plans are available for just $15 per month.
  • Device makers and wireless providers compete on both price point and innovation as evidenced by the more than 65 new smartphones introduced to the marketplace in 2008 and 2009 alone. And prices continue to fall. In June, the Palm Pre was offered through Amazon by both AT&T and Verizon for a single penny as a reward to loyal customers who made a two-year service commitment.
Mobile Apps
  • Innovators are developing applications at break- neck speed. U.S. wireless customers can access more than 240,000 mobile applications in at least seven competing applications stores.

Wireless competition is expected to remain robust as, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s new Mobile Access in 2010 report, steep wireless adoption and usage growth cuts broadly across the U.S. population. In fact, usage of connected devices and applications continues to grow at an unabated and staggering pace despite the current recession. A recent CNET survey indicated mobile devices have become a “must have” for consumers despite economic uncertainly.

Mobile Future’s comments also highlight the apparently recession-proof investment in next-generation networks. Investment capital continues to be spurred on by a highly competitive mobile market; the seemingly insatiable appetite of connected consumers; and the restraint policymakers have demonstrated in regulating this innovative and fast-advancing marketplace.

The comments conclude by encouraging regulators to acknowledge the true success story of the American wireless sector and continue to ensure that wireless is driven by consumers and fueled by private investment and robust competitive dynamics. Specifically, Mobile Future urges the FCC to promote and preserve competition by expanding the availability of commercial spectrum; recognizing how diverse consumers are embracing wireless mobile connectivity; encouraging capital investment in the wireless marketplace; and acknowledging the competitive nature of the U.S. mobile marketplace.

Read Mobile Future’s Filing