So I found out today that the phone company Verizon is making some changes to their package plans. Namely, they are getting rid of the early upgrade plan where any customers on a 2 year plan can upgrade their phone after 20 months. Now they can only upgrade when the 2 years have been completed. There were credits that helped customers with new upgrades, such as a $50 payment toward a phone, that have also been dropped. Luckily, customers that share a plan can use each others upgrades when their plan is up. Regardless, companies like AT&T and T-Mobile still have plans that offer upgrades at shorter lengths of time compared to Verizon.
This reminded me of another project that I recently did involving AT&T merging with T-Mobile. The wireless spectrum is such a competitive resource that the mobile carriers are always trying to expand their networks so they can cover the most area. And as people are demanding more and more data space and coverage, some companies cannot keep up, which is why merging sounds like such a great idea. Yet AT&T and T-Mobile did not merge because of a very good reason: AT&T would turn into a trust if it decided to keep going after T-Mobile. They had already absorbed the mobile company Cingular back in 2005 and it’s quite obvious that the company wants to overthrow Verizon, the most popular and wide range carrier. But then again, the word “trust” is brought to mind. Not since the industrial era with Rockefeller and Carnegie have we really tackled a major business trust issue. Market competition is a healthy element of capitalism and allows the freedom of consumer choice.
Having one company controlling the entire spectrum diminishes that choice, but I can’t help but also think it could be an interesting plan. To have one company control the spectrum will result in a trust, but it could lead to some grand innovations, mastery over upgrades and advancement towards 5G and beyond. Though I personally do not support the idea of having only one carrier be the access to the entire wireless system, having the strongest of the companies working together towards improving our networks can be a great advancement for communication and connectivity.