Any parallels with Africa?
>X-From_: [log in to unmask] Tue Feb 09 20:55:30 1999
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>Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 14:21:05 -0500
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>Subject: File 'feb99/pr007411.txt' from NEWSdesk
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>Mon., Feb. 8: Telecom Act's 3rd Anniversary Cellular Telecommunications
>Industry Association: Wireless Industry Is Model Of Competition in
>WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/NEWSdesk -- "To see what competition will look
>like tomorrow, look at wireless today." On the third anniversary of the
>Telecommunications Act, on Mon., Feb. 8, this sums up the one unmitigated
>success story in telecommunications competition in the U.S.
> In his "Agenda for 1999," presented at the beginning of this year, William
>Kennard, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, noted, "Last year,
>61 million Americans had a cellular phone, and because of competition, these
>phones were of a higher quality, and bills were more than 50 percent lower
>than a decade ago."
> And while disagreements about how to best encourage competition in other
>sectors of the telecommunications industry, the red-hot wireless industry
>continues to provide Americans with abundant choices, no matter where they
>live. Competition among wireless service providers has been good for
>consumers, and competition is emerging from the wireless industry into
>traditional landline phone service.
> In 1996, Congress adopted the wireless model of competition in lieu of
>government intervention for the entire telecommunications industry.
>Competition, which began for wireless carriers in 1983 (when commercial
>service first became available), has been the driving force behind the
>innovation and growth that has characterized wireless telecommunications.
> Competition in Wireless
> As the first sector of local telecommunications to experience competition,
>the wireless industry has become the model for what consumers can expect as
>other local markets become competitive. As a result, the wireless industry is
>also at the forefront as government policy evolves from a substitute for
>competition to an enabler of competition.
> Today, 217 million consumers can choose among three or more wireless
>service providers; more than 157 million Americans live in markets where they
>can choose from among five or more wireless service providers.
> The wireless competition that began in 1983 with two licensees per market
>was further expanded in 1995 to provide for up to nine carriers per market.
>Consumers have benefited from this expanded choice -- enjoying choice among
>carriers, choice among technologies, and choice among service options. One
>result is that end-user rates have fallen dramatically, as wireless providers
>have offered new rate plans and service packages. In some markets, consumers
>can now buy service at half the price they paid in 1995.
> The June, 1998 CTIA Semi-Annual Data Survey (the most recent figures
>available) reflects the trend. The average consumer's monthly bill has
>dropped every year since the Association began keeping track:
> YEAR AVERAGE MONTHLY BILL
> 1988 $95.00
> 1989 $85.52
> 1990 $83.94
> 1991 $74.56
> 1992 $68.51
> 1993 $67.31
> 1994 $58.65
> 1995 $52.45
> 1996 $48.84
> 1997 $43.86
> 1998 $39.88
> Competition in wireless ensures innovation in the areas of new products,
>processes and services. Wireless telecommunications providers are involved in
>the on-going reconstruction of reality through innovation.
> The wireless industry has moved from offering installed "car phones" and
>the transportable "brick" to now offering portables as small as a double-pack
>of chewing gum weighing less than three ounces.
> Relief from the FCC's original mandate for analog technology has permitted
>manufacturers and service providers to develop a wide variety of digital
>technologies and applications. Today, more than 20% of all wireless
>subscribers are using these digital technologies.
> Competition has spurred the emergence of new niche markets for non-voice
>services, relying on digital technologies. These wireless data services merge
>telephones, computers and mobility.
> Competition has also spurred wireless entry into new voice markets, such
>as Wireless Local Loop in both rural and urban environments. In effect,
>wireless services may soon become a replacement for wireline services.
> Wireless is the greatest safety tool since the development of 9-1-1. More
>than 98,000 emergency calls a day come from consumers using their wireless
>phones, and the wireless industry is working to deploy location technology
>that will enable emergency services to know the location of the call, even if
>the caller doesn't. In addition, the wireless industry is working with
>automobile manufacturers and emergency service providers to explore how
>Automatic Crash Notification systems could automatically initiate wireless 911
>calls to report and transmit data on the severity and location of a crash, as
>well as to establish voice links with people in automobiles.
> On the third anniversary of the Telecommunications Act, the wireless
>industry and its customers have plenty to celebrate. To see what competition
>in telecommunications will look like tomorrow, look at wireless today.
> CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunication
> News about the wireless industry is available on CTIA's Web site:
>SOURCE Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
>CONTACT: Jeffrey Nelson, +1 202-736-3207 or [log in to unmask]; or Tim Ayers,
>+1 202-736-3203 or [log in to unmask], both of CTIA
>NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like to interview Thomas E. Wheeler, CTIA's
>President and CEO, in conjunction with the Telecom Act's 3rd anniversary,
>please call contact below.
>Web site: http://www.wow-com.com.
>Web site: www.ctia.org
PO Box 8828, Bachbrecht, Windhoek, Namibia
Tel. +264 61 252946
e-mail: [log in to unmask]