In our initial comments for the FCC’s 16th Annual Mobile Competition Report, we shared data from our semi-annual survey that proves the U.S. wireless industry is competitive which means great benefits for consumers. In our reply comments, we provided third party research that shows the U.S. leads the world in wireless even though we have such a small amount of spectrum in the pipeline compared to other countries.
U.S. wireless providers continue to work hard to support Americans’ hunger for mobile broadband. Last year, 30,299 cell sites were added. As the number of new cell sites indicates, our members are absolutely focused on infrastructure deployments and improving efficiency to meet consumer demand, but more sites and cell splitting isn’t enough.
As this “flag chart” shows, when compared to similar countries, the U.S. has among the least amount of potentially usable spectrum in the pipeline, but we have more subscribers and minutes of use. 4G and advanced technologies efficiently manage spectrum needs and can support a greater number of users per megahertz, but additional spectrum is desperately needed to support the continued growth in mobile broadband.
Despite having less spectrum, but more users, the U.S. wireless industry has been able to innovate and create thanks to the ecosystem’s fierce competition.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at some third party research that was recently released.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s recent Global Wireless Matrix Report found that as of year-end 2011, U.S. consumers used the most voice minutes (945) and paid the lowest average revenue per minute ($0.03) among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
The U.S. wireless marketplace also continues to be one of the most competitive and least concentrated in the world. Out of 28 OECD countries, only three (the U.S., Japan and Canada) have five or more wireless carriers. Of the remaining countries, 15 have only three wireless carriers and 10 have only four.