Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
There has been some speculation that Apple might become a carrier. Apple is sitting on a large cash reserve.
If Apple could offer high-speed mobile at a fair price, they could grab a huge marketshare and keep it. After all, the rest of the world has superior service at a lower cost. Apple could disrupt the market again. Offer unlimited data and phone for $30-$35 a month. They'd sell a ton of iPhones and iPads. Possibly laptops, too.
Not seeing it at all. Even if the FCC killed the ATT-TMob sale and Apple bought TMob from DTK, Apple would still be years of build out away from having the same breadth of coverage that ATT and Verizon enjoy today. Even worse, TMob doesn't have the spectrum to build out true 4G (WiMax or LTE) networks, and Apple would be stuck on HSPA/HSPA+ long after ATT and Verizon have deployed LTE coverage in major markets. If Apple doesn't acquire a major player (TMob, or possibly Sprint), the entire thing's a non-starter barring major FCC regulation changes.
Don't see anyone undercutting ATT and Verizon pricing by over half either, especially with unlimited usage. The amount of network congestion would be... impressive... to say the least. Not saying it isn't possible, but no one's come close yet.
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils
Sadly, the bad experience with ATT is just one of many examples of lack of regulation letting companies do whatever they want in the name of profits. The free market works, but only if there is actual competition. ATT or Verizon is not nearly enough.
A bit nonsensical. There's mountains of regulation in telecom and plenty of competition. Problem is, building a nationwide network in America is absurdly expensive due to our relatively low population density. Verizon's LTE build out is estimated to cost > $8 billion, not including the $9 billion or so in spectrum they purchased for their buildout. Very few players can afford those sorts of costs, so most companies are forced to forgo true nationwide coverage (Sprint, TMob) and suffer with spotty coverage or forced to stay metro/regional (MetroPCS, Alltel, etc) and suffer with strict geographic limitations. Long as American consumers value nationwide coverage, the situation ain't changing.
Counterpoint to my own argument: Two magic words, "common carrier", would change this situation overnight. No guarantee that you'd like the results though.
Edited by marvin - 6/2/11 at 4:06pm