Competition

Key Points

  • Throughout the U.S. wireless industry ecosystem – from infrastructure and equipment to devices to apps and content – there is robust competition. Individually and collectively, these companies are fiercely competitive for every single customer.
  •  Users benefit in such a fiercely competitive and innovative atmosphere.  Whether a consumer or a business, companies are competing for you through services, products and prices.  Americans enjoy extraordinary value when it comes to price and use mobile services much more than those in other developed countries.
  • Compared to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the U.S. wireless industry has the least concentrated marketplace by a significant margin.
  • Thanks to this incredible competition, American Customer Satisfaction Index and Consumer Reports surveys continue to show Americans remain highly satisfied by the wireless industry.

CTIA Position

No matter what a consumer or business wants from wireless, there are numerous companies to choose from, whether it’s equipment, devices, apps or software. Through services, products and prices, users benefit from the competitive environment with diverse offerings.

Thanks to the competition and innovation in the U.S. wireless industry, Americans have the best value for price and mobile services than any other developed country.

  • When compared to the average European, Americans use five times more voice minutes and two times more data per connection.
  • When compared to the top 10 OECD countries by GDP, as of Q4 2012, Americans used 932 voice minutes per month, which was more than double the next closest country, Canada, with a per capita usage of 381 minutes.
  • In 2012, the average revenue per minute for voice in the U.S. was three cents, which was less than a third of the European average.
  • The U.S. has the most facilities-based providers out of any nation, and one of only two countries in the world with five or more licensees per market.
  • There are 191 facilities-based mobile providers in the U.S., along with numerous resellers/mobile virtual network operators.  More than 90 percent of U.S. consumers have a choice of four or more wireless carriers, depending on the area. In urban areas, a majority of consumers have a choice among 14 providers.
  • The U.S. is the least concentrated mobile wireless marketplace, with the lowest Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI)of 28 OECD countries

Given the prices and superior value U.S. consumers enjoy, it is not surprising that consumer satisfaction levels remain strong. The American Customer Satisfaction Index and Consumer Reports have each reported that the wireless industry has increasingly high consumer satisfaction1 2.


1 See American Customer Satisfaction Index, Benchmarks by Industry, Wireless Telephone Service, http://theacsi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=147&catid=&Itemid=212&i=Wireless+Telephone+Service (last visited Oct. 17, 2013)
2Consumer Reports, U.S. Cell Phone Carriers Ratings, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/phones-mobile-devices/cell-phones-services/us-cell-phone-carriers-ratings/ratings-overview.htm (last visited Oct. 18, 2013)

Last Updated: November 2013

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