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Old 05-27-2008, 04:36 AM
Rocco Augusto
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Default Rural Wireless Carriers File FCC Petition Opposing Handset Exclusivity

"If you thought you were annoyed when one of the big wireless carriers locked up a phone you were after, you have no idea how frustrated small and rural wireless carriers are -- they've just filed a petition with FCC seeking to ban the practice. The 80 companies in the Rural Cellular Association serve small markets not well-covered by the big guys, like parts of New Mexico, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, and they say that carrier exclusivity deals not affect their bottom line, but also deprive consumers of desirable phones like the iPhone and upcoming Blackberry Bold. They've actually got a pretty good point: lots of rural customers can't purchase and use an iPhone without technically breaking the AT&T service agreement. We'll see how this one goes -- although we'd love nothing more than to use any phone we wanted on any carrier, there are plenty of reasons it won't happen, and exclusivity is the easiest way for carriers to differentiate themselves to consumers."

As a consumer I really hope that in the coming years we start to see an end to all of the exclusivity contracts. I can understand them to a point but in the case of the iPhone, as mentioned above, was five years really necessary? Also I think the iPhone is a horrible example of a handset to use an example here since a lot of the rural carriers I can think of off the top of my head all run off of CDMA networks and the iPhone is a GSM and soon to be HSDPA handset. Even if the exclusivity deal was not in place, do you really expect Apple to make a CDMA version just to be fair to the little guys? A lot of high-end handsets have trouble selling in densely populated areas and if there is not enough customer demand to convince the big five to open shops in those rural areas, what makes the little carriers think they could even secure those fancy handsets in the first place?
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default Handset "exclusivity"

Here we go again ...

Little carriers do not have to sell handsets unless they want to. The customer buys the PDA of his choice (one of the most powerful uses of the Internet) and then chooses a SIM from the various carrier offerings.

Does this work ? Oh yes. I live/work in a country which has a number of carriers competing without the need for "exclusivity", although one can buy cheaply and limit oneself if that's what you want.

Locking in desirable PDA's to limit customer choice may be easy marketing, but it is vomitous. Customers demand choice and flexibility - "exclusivity" is designed exactly to thwart this and lock in profits without working for them.

The very nicest thing about capitalism is the market choice it offers - any marketing ploy (this especially means Apple) that limits that choice deserves to die a ghastly death from lack of patronage.
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