The FCC should re-evaluate the quality of the source data used to reach conclusions regarding market areas actually served by CMRS operators, because using faulty data will distort the competitive analysis. Additionally, the Commission should conduct a careful review of all acquisitions and transfers of control in the CMRS marketplace, including those transactions which occurred prior to the period of review for this Fourteenth Report. It should pay particular attention, however, to mergers and acquisitions occurring since the compilation of the Thirteenth Report, which have winnowed the number of active CMRS operators, and in the process, reduced choice for mobile consumers. Similarly, the Commission should recognize just how stifling the effects have been of a lack of a spectrum cap due to both hyper-consolidation and misguided auction rules, both of which have caused harm to aspiring and nascent small and rural mobile operators and all of the mobile consumers in those markets. Click here for a copy of RTG’s Reply Comments.
Proactive steps the Commission can take to instill pro-consumer, pro-competition policies include the imposition of a spectrum cap of 110 megahertz in spectrum below 2.3 GHz, the prohibition of handset exclusivity agreements between CMRS operators and mobile device manufacturers, the treatment of automatic data roaming as a common carrier service, and the complete removal of the in-market or “home” roaming exclusion in order to promote nascent CMRS operators and recent license auction winners. Click here for a full copy of RTG’s Reply Comments.