Document Type


Publication Date



Over the next decade, regulators will spend increasing time on conflicts between the private interests of the wireless industry and the public’s interest in the best uses of its spectrum. This report examines the practices of the wireless industry with an eye toward understanding their influence on innovation and consumer welfare.

In many respects, the mobile wireless market is and remains a wonder. Thanks to both policy and technological innovations, devices that were science fiction 30 years ago are now widely available. Over the last decade, wireless mobile has been an “infant industry,” attempting to achieve economies of scale. That period is over: Today, in the United States, there are more than 200 million mobile subscribers, and mobile revenues are over $100 billion. As the industry and platform mature, the wireless industry warrants a new look.

This report finds a mixed picture. The American wireless industry, over the last decade, has succeeded in bringing wireless telephony at competitive prices to the public. Yet at the same time, we also find the wireless carriers in the United States aggressively controlling product design and innovation in the equipment and application markets, to the de triment of consumers. In the wired world, their policies would, in some cases, be considered simply misguided, and in other cases be considered outrageous and illegal.


Communications Law | Internet Law | Law