Sunday, August 05, 2007

Wireless competition: consumers hit the jackpot!

On March 5, 2006, AT&T's public relations arm issued a major press release. Entitled "AT&T, BellSouth to Merge: Combination Will Speed Innovation, Competition and Convergence", it quotes AT&T President Ed Whitacre as saying, "Our focus is on providing great service and innovative, competitively priced products for consumers and businesses...".

Well, it's 2007 and AT&T and BellSouth received regulatory approval to merge earlier in the year. Let's see how those innovative and competitively priced products stack up against the competition. According to, the pricing for a basic family wireless package (in minutes) from each of the telcos looks something like this.

Who knew that AT&T's legal staff had such a great sense of humor?

With a reconstituted "Ma Bell," consumers really have hit the jackpot. Thanks, FCC! Oh, and thank goodness the FCC decided not to open up the newly liberated 700MHz spectrum to wholesale competition. As you can tell from the chart, consumers already have entirely too many choices for affordable, high-quality wireless service!

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