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Wireless Industry Argues Price and Service is Competitive

The wireless industry is saying no to a "cocktail" of data reporting requirements suggested by public interest groups, while calling on the FCC to inventory its spectrum, free more of it for wireless and eliminate tower citing delays. The industry's remarks came from the CTIA, the Wireless Association's reply comments on the FCC's inquiry into competition in the mobile wireless market.

CTIA argues that there is already plenty of data to support the conclusion that price and service in the wireless industry is incredibly competitive.

CTIA may have declined a cocktail, but it argues that its cup has run over with "the lowest prices, the highest minutes of use, the most innovative services and devices, the most robust mobile broadband networks, and the least concentrated wireless market among our global competitors."

The group argues that criticisms of price, service, investment, and calls for a "new, mandatory data collection regime," can be chalked up to "an irresistible urge to insist that no glass can be anything but half empty."

On the tower-citing issue, CTIA got some help from the Hill. In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Thursday, Reps. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), co-chairs of the congressional wireless caucus, called on the commission to move on a "shot clock" petition filed by CTIA over a year ago (July 2008) that would set a time frame in which a state or locality had to act on sitting requests.

They point out that "improved wireless broadband access can generate new businesses based on the availability of faster Internet connections," something high on the FCC's agenda.

They also gave Genachowski a shout-out for comments--in an Oct. 7 speech at the CTIA conference in San Diego the FCC heard was planning to move soon.

"We have heard your call," he said, adding that the issue was ripe for action. "In the near future we are going to move forward with a shot-clock proposal designed to speed the process, while taking into account the legitimate concerns of local authorities."