WASHINGTON, DC – CTIA - The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent offered the following comments today in response to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights hearing on “Cell Phone Text Messaging Rate Increases and the State of Competition in the Wireless Market:”
"The U.S. wireless industry is the most competitive and innovative in the world. Third party organizations and influentials—from Consumer Reports Magazine to Former Vice President Al Gore—have echoed this statement.
"In CTIA's 2008 year-end survey, we found that 270.3 million subscribers sent more than 1 trillion text messages -- or about 3.5 billion per day. This is a significant increase to 2007 when 255.4 million subscribers sent 363 billion text messages.
"These statistics prove that consumers are increasingly relying on texting as a form of communications. It is quick, easy and affordable. Carriers offer consumers a multitude of text messaging options and we encourage individuals to work with their provider to ensure they're on the best plan.
"Merrill Lynch recently released their study which found that the U.S. is the least concentrated and most competitive market out of the 26 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) countries reviewed. In 23 of the 26 OECD countries, the top four carriers own 100% of the market. The U.S. is one of only three OECD countries with more than four carriers but the only one whose top four carriers represent 86% of the market.
"With wireless companies constantly entering new markets and competing for customers, it's clear that the U.S. consumer is the ultimate winner from this fiercely competitive industry."
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CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry,
representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.