Chairman Klobuchar, Ranking Member Lee, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify about the dynamic, innovative and fiercely competitive U.S. wireless marketplace.
Today's U.S. wireless ecosystem offers consumers remarkable sets of choices - from infrastructure and equipment, to services and software, devices and applications. This broad foundation places us at the forefront of emerging mobile innovations, such as machine to machine connectivity (otherwise known as the "Internet of Things") and cloud-based services. Our U.S. wireless market stands as a global leader in innovation and choice, and is a key driver for national economic growth and maintaining America's competitive edge in the global economy.
By just about every metric, the U.S. wireless industry has exhibited consistent and ongoing dynamism, innovation, and competition. n1
Perhaps the best indicator of the industry's vibrancy is its stellar capital investment record. In 2013, America's wireless carriers invested more than
Much of this sustained investment of late has been targeted for deployment of 4G LTE mobile broadband networks, which provide consumers and businesses with true broadband speeds in a mobile environment. As a result of U.S. carriers' investment in 4G LTE,
LTE has transformed the communications landscape by providing customers with faster and more robust access to the Internet.
Ongoing investment in wireless broadband infrastructure has been a bright spot for the U.S. economy in a time of otherwise slow growth. Between 2007 and 2011, the U.S. wireless industry gained almost 1.6 million new jobs while total U.S. private sector jobs fell by 5.3 million. n10 In that same time, our industry generated
This leadership in investment and growth is projected to continue.
The beneficiaries of this remarkable marketplace are U.S. wireless consumers, who have a wide range of choices in networks, devices and applications, whose appetites for mobile services grow year over year, and who enjoy more and more services at declining unit costs.
Consider that the U.S. now has more facilities-based wireless service providers that own and manage network equipment - with 180 - than any other nation in the world. n15 According to the
Another indication of the level of competition in the market is the resources companies spend on marketing to try to win new customers. Between January and
The competitive state of the U.S. wireless marketplace has led U.S. consumers to use more mobile services than their international counterparts. When compared to the average European, in 2012, the average American consumer used five times more voice minutes and two times more data per connection than his or her European counterpart. U.S. consumers used 932 voice minutes per month, more than double the number of the next closest country,
In 2012 U.S. wireless data traffic increased by 70% to 1.468 trillion megabytes, up from 866.9 billion in 2011. n20 Meanwhile, the price trend for wireless data has been dropping dramatically - plummeting 93% from 2008-2012, from
As customers embed mobile technologies ever more deeply into the way they work and live, the wireless industry is innovating to address these new consumer demands and create new solutions that make use of these powerful wireless broadband platforms.
Today, a number of different device manufacturers offer almost 300 different handsets; consumers also have a wide set of options for tablets and other mobile devices. n23 Over half of the phones in use today are smartphones, n24 and it's expected that 87% of connected device sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones - devices that didn't exist 10 years ago and that wouldn't exist without mobile broadband networks. n25
The U.S. applications market is the global leader, and the number and type of applications available to those consumers have increased at a staggering rate. In 2012, consumers had access to more than 20 independent non-carrier mobile application stores, offering over 3.5 million apps for fourteen different mobile device operating systems. n26 Similarly, many wireless companies, including
As with other transformative technologies we've seen evolve, mobile technologies are creating massive amounts of disruption and ripple effects across industries, creating new opportunities for productivity and growth. Mobile technologies are transforming the transportation, finance, energy, and agriculture sectors. Smart grids, smart cars, smart homes, and smart fields all take advantage of wireless technology. These mobile platforms are also helping to address some of our nation's most pressing challenges, such as provision of high-quality, affordable health care and access to world-class educational resources.
By utilizing innovative in-home broadband and Internet-based technologies and mobile solutions, we can change the model for patient care and help eliminate healthcare disparities, improve access and enable better chronic disease outcomes.
LTE mobile broadband can handle the bandwidth demands of transmitting MRIs, X-Rays and
These types of technologies offer a great opportunity to make America healthier, while also saving as much as
In the field of education, the technology content of every business and every job is rising. Yet interest and proficiency in science, technology, engineering or math - STEM subjects - is stagnant in the U.S.
Even in these areas of philanthropy, we are seeing competition across our ecosystem, driving new strategies and providing teachers and students with resources toward a shared goal of putting in place a strong, well-educated workforce to sustain U.S. leadership and competitiveness in the global high-tech marketplace.
This fiercely competitive, highly innovative wireless ecosystem has not developed in a vacuum. Public policy has played a part. Back in 1993, when
These decisions paved the way for nation-wide mobile products and services and plans rather than a fragmented market, such as the one that is today hindering
Twenty years later, our industry stands as a testament to that light touch regulatory model. Where issues have arisen, such as number porting, location-based services or mobile phone directories, our industry has worked through consensus with policy makers to address them. n29 Of course we also should not underestimate the powerful influence of our customers, who make their sentiments clear and very much drive this market.
That said, there are challenges our industry faces. Consumer privacy and security are at the top of the list. If we want consumers to increasingly embed mobile technology in their lives - whether for social purposes, entertainment or for personal finance - they must be confident that their personal information is safe and being protected. Likewise, device security is an issue that our industry has been focused on for some time. n30
Without question, however, the most important area where continued policy leadership is necessary is access to spectrum. Without the lifeblood of this sector - spectrum - our global leadership in wireless innovation, our sustained investment, and our ability to meet consumers' appetite for faster mobile speeds and increased access for multiple mobile devices, is at risk.
As you are aware, spectrum can't be created, only allocated. And reallocating spectrum is difficult due to restrictions on how the spectrum can be used and sold. As wireless adoption increases and mobile data usage explodes, much more bandwidth is needed to upgrade networks, serve additional consumers and meet demand.
We are appreciative of
We must also look at the auction process, which should be fair and transparent, open to all bidders, and not weighed down by conditions that might limit the number of bidders or the amount of spectrum brought to market. Finally, we need a streamlined approach that allows those firms already holding underused or dormant spectrum to sell it to those who can best put that spectrum to use for consumers.
A comprehensive spectrum policy, coupled with continuation of the successful light touch regulatory model to address other challenges our industry faces, will serve all players in the wireless marketplace. Competition will continue to flourish, leading to even greater amounts of investment, more choices and value for consumers from enhanced services and greater levels of innovation, all hallmarks of a wireless marketplace that so demonstrably benefit the American consumer and the U.S. economy.
Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I welcome your questions.
n4 CTIA -
n5 OECD, Total Fixed And Wireless Broadband Subscriptions By Country,
n6 CTIA -
n10 CTIA -
n13 CTIA -
n14 PCIA, "Wireless Infrastructure Investment Will Generate
n18 Kantar Media, "Kantar Media Reports U.S. Advertising Expenditures Declined In Q3 2013, Due To Comparison Against High Olympics, Election Year Spend In 2012," Press Release,
n29 CTIA -
n30 CTIA -
Read this original document at: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/pdf/02-26-14MilchTestimony.pdf
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