FCC balks at gauging the state of competitiveness in mobile

The FCC issued its annual report on the state of competition in the U.S. wireless industry, and once again the commission declined to come to a conclusion, as Broadcasting & Cable reported. The 140-page document, which was penned by the commission's Wireless Bureau, is a deep dive that includes a substantial amount of data but doesn't take much of a stand one way or the other.

"Given the complexity of the various interrelated segments and services within the mobile wireless ecosystem, any single conclusion regarding the effectiveness of competition would be incomplete and possibly misleading in light of the complexities we observe," according to a quote B&C pulled from the report.

Predictably, the report was viewed very differently by various businesses in the industry. One industry group including Verizon and AT&T -- the nation's two largest carriers -- argued that the marketplace is "the global gold standard of competition," while the Competitive Carriers Association said the report "affirms the alarming trend of continued consolidation into the hands of the two dominant carriers."

Both points of view are valid, of course: Operators are fighting harder than ever to attract new postpaid users, and the move away from two-year contracts has brought unprecedented transparency for consumers. But while T-Mobile has made huge gains in the past two years, Verizon and AT&T still dominate. Players may argue about the state of competitiveness today, but it will almost surely increase in 2016. Article

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