Showing posts from May, 2014

Does Canadian Market Structure Provide Insight on U.S. Mobile Market Consolidation?

For observers trying to ascertain what might happen to competition, investment and innovation in the U.S. mobile market, if the market consolidates to three leading providers, instead of four, Canada provides some data, but probably not so much predictive value.
In Canada, a market many observers think similar enough to the United States to use categories like “North America,” there are three leading mobile providers, where in the U.S. market there are four leading providers.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, Rogers Wireless was the largest of Canada’s three primary mobile service providers, with 9.5 million mobile phone subscribers.
Consider the anomaly: in the U.S. market, no entity with strong “cable TV” roots is among the four leaders. Rogers began life as a cable TV operator.
Telus Mobility is second, with 7.81 million subscribers while Bell Mobility follows closely with 7.78 million subscribers. Including the “value” brands also owned by the three leaders, the top three providers cont…

Regulatory Incongruity Grows, Net Neutrality is But One Example

As the barriers between industries become porous, so too do inconsistencies in regulation. To cite only one example, incumbent telcos are regulated much more stringently than cable TV companies, ISPs and satellite providers of similar services. Competitive local exchange carriers are regulated differently from incumbent telcos.
And over the top apps are lightly regulated, to the extent there is any regulation at all.
So one key principle--equal treatment of suppliers of similar services--has grown incongruous.
The separation of network access from application access (over the top Internet applications can be used on any network; apps can be offloaded to third party networks using Wi-Fi) have huge implications for app providers, cable TV, satellite and telephone service providers alike.

The most-important implication is that revenue shifts. It is possible to buy video entertainment, voice services and messaging from different providers than the entity providing the “access” connection.


Europe, U.S. Markets On Track for Widespread 100 Mbps by 2024

Since 2010, regulators in the United States and European Union have called for dramatically-faster Internet access, both targeting speeds of 100 Mbps by about 2020, in the case of the EC.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan calls for providing at least 100 million U.S. homes with “affordable access” to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second, without setting a specific time frame.
At the time both initiatives were launched, the goals might have seemed farfetched. In 2010, according to Akamai, typical U.S. and European access speeds were about 4 Mbps, though some studies showed higher speeds.
That we now have major Internet service providers talking about, and in some cases, building networks capable of supplying gigabit Internet access shows how fast supplier thinking has changed since 2010, and how fast higher speeds are being made available, despite a persistent sense in so…

Deutsche Telekom Agrees to Softbank's T-Mobile US Acquisition

Deutsche Telekom apparently has agreed to a plan by Japanese mobile company Softbank Corp. to buy T-Mobile US.

Softbank Chairman Masayoshi Son proposed the buyout in a meeting with top executives of T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom in mid-May, 2014.

The issue is whether antitrust authorities and the Federal Communications Commission also will agree, and if so, what conditions might be required in order for Softbank's Sprint unit to gain approval.