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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC Adopts Third Annual Report to Congress On State of CMRS Competition
Today, the Commission adopted its Third Annual Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) Competition Report (Third Report). Citing to various industry reports, the Third Report evaluates various CMRS product categories and concludes that progress has been made toward competition over the past year, particularly in the mobile telephony market. More competition, the report observes, has meant lower prices, more choices and new cutting edge technologies for American consumers.
The Third Report evaluates competition from the perspective of the consumer -- a different approach from prior reports that analyzed competition based on regulatory and legal definitions of service offerings alone. Specifically, the Third Report considers three established CMRS product categories known to consumers: mobile telephony, paging/messaging and dispatch. The following is observed concerning the competitive landscape of these three CMRS product categories:
Mobile Telephony: In the past year, the mobile telephony market has achieved new highs in subscribership -- with 55 million subscribers representing 20 percent of the nation's population subscribing to service at the end of 1997. This represents an increase of over 11 million new subscribers during 1997. The Third Report finds that mobile telephony is an important engine of economic growth in the CMRS marketplace. According to the report, the most dramatic development in mobile telephony has been the entry of new broadband Personal Communications Services (PCS) and digital Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) providers into most major markets across the country. As a result of these new entrants, prices have been falling and service offerings have become more diverse.
Paging/Messaging: The report observes that the paging and messaging industry is highly competitive. New and innovative product offerings, such as two-way messaging, voice mail, and data transmission (e.g, stock quotes and short e-mail messages), are being offered in an expanding paging/messaging marketplace.
Traditional Dispatch: According to the Third Report, the dispatch industry has seen a
year where the deployment of digital technology has allowed for a greater range of mobile
messaging, mobile data and vehicle location services. In addition, traditional dispatch operators
are now offering more mobile telephony services in addition to traditional dispatch services.
The Third Report will be submitted to Congress as required under Section 332(c)(1)(C) of the Communications Act.
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau contacts: Alexander Byron at (202) 418-0629 or Cynthia Schieber at (202) 418-7530