David Kirkpatrick

August 26, 2009

Wireless industry under the gun

Filed under: Business, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:13 pm

I won’t go all the way out to say the wireless sector regularly engages in bad business practices, but it’s pretty hard to argue the industry has been best serving the customer for, let’s say, the last 15 years.

Good luck in staring down a government with rolled-up sleeves and the political will to impose heavy regulation on offending businesses.

More regulation may not be the answer, but a bit more electronics liberation would be nice.

Check out the disingenuous quote from the CTIA veep below — wireless offerings are cheaper than 15 (fifteen!) years ago? Really? And there are services you can get today that weren’t available in 1994? Wow that progress thing is just so cool! Thanks for setting this story straight Mr. Spokesman.

From the link:

Facing an unprecedented onslaught of criticism of its pricing practices, exclusive handset deals and other moves, the wireless industry is gearing up to defend itself in hearings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other government groups.”The wireless industry in the U.S. has the coolest handsets, the applications are more robust, and the networks have the highest speeds with the lowest pricing,” said Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs at the CTIA in an interview today. “Can things get better? Yes. But things will get better.”

The CTIA, an association of carriers, handset makers and a growing number of wireless ecosystem players like Google Inc., says it is a bit confused by the level of criticism heaped upon the industry in recent weeks. Critics have leveled a variety of complaints ranging from what they contend is a lack of wireless innovation to overcharging for monthly services, Guttman-McCabe said.

Click here to find out more!“I think it’s extremely hard to understand the criticism we’re hearing,” Guttman-McCabe said. “People pay … a hell of a lot less than they paid [for wireless services] 15 years ago, and think of what you get now that you couldn’t get then.”The CTIA is planning to carefully watch the FCC’s meeting on Thursday to consider whether to conduct three probes, or “inquiries,” into the wireless industry. The FCC will decide whether it will work to find ways to encourage wireless vendors to be more innovative, competitive and open in providing information to consumers looking to buy wireless services.