Tuesday, February 05, 2008

USA - competition in mobile telecommunications

Annual Report and Analysis of Competitive Market Conditions With Respect to Commercial Mobile Services

U.S. consumers continue to reap significant benefits – including low prices, new technologies, improved service quality, and choice among providers – from competition in the Commercial Mobile Radio Services (“CMRS”) marketplace, both terrestrial and satellite CMRS. The metrics below indicate that there is effective competition in the CMRS market and demonstrate the increasingly significant role that wireless services play in the lives of American consumers. In particular, these metrics indicate that wireless technology is increasingly being used to provide a range of mobile broadband services.

The Twelfth Report relies on an additional data source allowing for a more granular and accurate analysis of mobile telephone service deployment and competition. This source is a set of maps available through a contract with American Roamer, which provide the detailed boundaries of the network coverage areas of every operational mobile telephone carrier in the United States. Using these maps, the Federal Communications Commission has been able to estimate the percentage of the U.S. population covered by a certain number of providers and the percentage of the population covered by different types of network technologies, including mobile broadband technologies. The Commission is now able to base these estimates on census blocks, rather than counties. Because census blocks are much smaller than counties (there are 8 million census blocks versus 3,200 counties in the United Sates), this allows for a significantly more accurate and granular assessment.

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