Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Small rural and urban wireless carriers join forces to compete with AT&T and Verizon's near-duopoly

Urban and rural wireless carriers are banding together to take on the two largest carriers in the U.S., AT&T and Verizon. The Rural Cellular Association, a Washington lobbying group, is rebranding itself as the Competitive Carrier Association as more small urban, regional and smaller national carriers join the organization.

"AT&T and Verizon Wireless have gotten so big so fast," CEO Steven Berry told Marguerite Reardon of CNET. "The newly branded organization reflects the policy issues that have developed as the market has turned into a duopoly. Whether they are rural carriers or bigger nationwide carriers, they all share some of the same policy concerns around spectrum allocation, data roaming, and device interoperability."

AT&T and Verizon "have managed to gobble up nearly every tier-two carrier that had been operating," Reardon reports. The two companies control more than 70 percent of the wireless market, reporting a combined 216.5 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter of 2012, more than the combined total number of subscribers from Sprint, T-Mobile and every other competitive carrier in the U.S. Smaller carriers are primarily concerned about the control the big two have over the wireless spectrum, roaming arrangements and device interoperability. (Read more)

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