The Federal Communications Commission is seeking reply comments as it prepares its 17th state of wireless competition report. In past reports, the FCC has not provided any definitive conclusions as to whether effective competition exists in the wireless market.
Verizon, on the other hand, is not mincing words on effective competition, requesting that the FCC declare the wireless market as effectively competitive. In their comments to the FCC, Verizon reminds us that there are a number of markets to consider when addressing the issue of wireless competition. We have a market for applications; backbone network services; and wireless handsets.
Verizon also addresses another indication of a competitive market: ease of market entry. Citing investments being made by SoftBank into its acquisition of Sprint-Nextel and Deutsche Telekom’s investment into T-Mobile, Verizon sees investment as proof that foreign firms see the U.S. market as a viable one.
Verizon even gives the FCC a little love by noting that the removal of restrictions in the BRS/EBS, 2 GHz MSS, and WCS bands provide carriers with the opportunity to enhance their capacity and enter markets.
And the myth about how poorly the U.S. is doing as opposed to other nations? Here is Verizon’s take on that:
“The U.S market also compares favorably to wireless markets in other areas of the world.
Not only does the U.S. invest more per subscriber ($94 compared to the non-U.S. average of
$16), U.S. consumers pay less (one-third of the EU average for voice service), experience faster
connection speeds (nearly twice as fast as the EU average), and enjoy broader LTE coverage.”
I will be presently surprised if the FCC takes the report to another level and makes an effective competition finding. Verizon has provided plenty of evidence for the agency to make such a declaration.