How did we get here?

We have  come a long way from the days of the transportable mobile phone and pay as you go plans that charged close to a $1.00 per minute with no perks like free roaming, long distance, weekends, etc. Now, carriers offer the latest all in one devices with unlimited plans for practically free and customers don’t bite or switch very easily. I remember twenty years ago when we only had two carriers in Los Angeles. There was Pactel and LA Cellular. What’s interesting is that the rates were always identical and there was a duopoly and price fixing that both carriers practiced. I guess the philosophy was that we had a good thing and why rock the boat by getting into a price war? At that time the wireless industry was also regulated. Carriers needed to file tariffs at all times to introduce new pricing plans and features to consumers. Once the wireless industry got deregulated many new carriers started to pop up in the market. Consumers had more and more choices and prices start to drop with introduction of new companies and plans. Technology by itself has improved so dramatically in just the past 10 years alone. A cellular phone which was once considered a luxury is now an everyday necessity for most people at a price that all can afford.
This is an era of convergence. All in one devices that do it all are amazingly powerful and fit in the palm of your hands at super affordable prices. Phones today allow subscribers to talk, text, stream audio and video, surf the web, make purchases, get directions, find theatre times, play games, check on your stock portfolio, take videos and pictures, stay connected to social networking websites and much much more.
Almost anything these days is caught on video as cell phone armed citizens capture every little moment on video. I am sure at times some people wish this wasn’t the case!
Competition in the market place always leads to innovation & better pricing choices for the consumers. Carriers continue to fight for market share in a very mature and competitive wireless environment. New subscribers are limited to customers switching from one provider to another or kids/teenagers getting a new phone for the first time. The tough competitive market will lead to further technology advancements and more price wars among the top tier carriers. The Wireless companies need to fight more than ever to attract new clients with great pricing, reliable service, great network coverage and innovation in equipment and technology. This is all great news for all of us end users.
It’s unimaginable today how we ever survived without our cell phones, but we know for a fact that many people did it for thousands of years! I personally enjoy mine a lot and rely on it daily for business and pleasure. I am sure that a lot of people share my sentiment and probably can’t do without their cell phone. I look forward to the latest and greatest gadgets to come for many more years.

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