Regional cell phone carriers, a thing of the past

A growing trend for mega-corps is to buy out relative mom and pop companies to expand. Specifically, in the cell phone industry, any company other than Verizon and ATT should fear a buyout. Local regional carriers are quickly becoming a thing of the past and we the consumers are the ones losing out.

The trend began way back when ATT was broken up into the "baby bells". The once mega-corp was split up to provide more competition in the market place. A quick glance at the industry will show that ATT has regained its stature except for a few of the baby bells but Verizon has also risen as a juggernaut.

ATT recently acquired Centennial Wireless and Verizon acquired Alltel Wireless but both are awaiting governmental clearance. While it is unlikely that either will be denied the acquisition because there is at least one other mega-carrier in the market, this diminishes competition for the consumer.

Verizon and ATT will continue to grow at phenomenal rates. With Sprint haemorrhaging customers it's only a matter of time until Verizon makes a bid for the "now network." ATT and Verizon are both in a head to head race to see who the biggest carrier is; both claim to be either the largest or the best but neither can claim both.
How does one grow in this market place? The simple answer is to purchase your competition. Verizon and ATT have huge bank rolls that allow them to simply dominate any regional carrier. The reason regional carriers are selling out is because they know in the long run they can't compete. New technologies such as LTE and WiMax require a massive amount of capital to update ones infrastructure, capital that regional carriers don't have. If you can't remain competitive on speed you have to lower your prices, lower prices means lower margins and lower net income.

The regional carrier is a dying breed compared to the mega national carriers. They will eventually all be bought out and this will diminish the amount of choices available for the consumer. Fewer choices means less competition and we all need the competition.

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Well FYI, it's even worse in Canada! Over there, there are only three wireless carriers to choose from and Rogers has a monopoly over GSM (Fido doesn't count, as it was bought out by Rogers in 2004). At least in the US, competition is still alive and there is not a monopoly over the GSM standard (T-Mobile USA and AT&T use this technology).

That's why Industry Canada has licensed a bunch of spectrum to small, regional providers, which will make them a thing of the future in Canada. Expect to see Fido like providers coming where they only serve big cities.
However, the bandwidth they have is for voice only unfortunately.

I note that there are a fair number of players in the market who have made substantial regional inroads with massive price undercutting of the big carriers-- the one here offers 'unlimited talk' for $35 per month, data card service for 40 per month, unlimited everything for like 50. Although their network is decidedly inferior, it's a very competitive argument if you're just trying to abandon a landline.

I can't see them going anywhere just because no big carrier wants to pierce the $80+ for unlimited everything umbrella.

It may seem worse for the customer, but I somewhat think having to major carriers are best for the consumer. I've been with Verizon since April and enjoy both the service and the price. If it were any higher though, I wouldn't pay for it -- cell service just isn't a necessity for me. And around here I know of only a small number of people who use something other than Verizon.

Of course they could become a monopoly and raise prices but as of yet that's not happening, and with two competing against each other I doubt it will happen. Unless something drastic happened to one of them, which doesn't look likely.

it could be like in canada where the carriers work with each other to raise the prices at the same time.. to screw over the consumer and maximize profits for the carrier..

like the texting plans for Telus and Bell in canada got raised on the same day for both carriers..

personally i think that verzion should by sprint and at&T should buy t-mobile. They are both loosing customers left and right, just put 2 major carriers and let people decide CDMA or GSM. thats it, better coverage, more customers, cheaper prices, etc....

Can I just say here that Alltel may be bought out by Verizon...But there is a major regional carrier in the midwest and other parts of the US have a carrier called US Cellular which is growing rapidly fast from EVDO (3G) speed network just launched this past month to CDMA phones some carriers don't even have which I'm one of there loyal customers who gets free incoming calls and free incoming text, pix, and videos. Don't think that this applies to all regional carriers if US Cellular is not the one or only one expanding coverage.

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