|Wireless Phones Mean Landline Carriers Wire Less Homes|
|Key Words||Consumers, technology, money, competition, price, deregulation, cash|
More and more consumers are making cell phones their primary or only telephone line. In fact, 2.2 percent of people in the U.S. now depend totally on wireless phones and other technology. They calculate that it is a waste of money to pay for two phones when they are rarely at home anyway. Younger people, just starting out on their own, often see a cell phone with no landline service as economical.
Competition among wireless carriers has reduced the price of cell phone service by 39 percent over the last decade. Cell phone companies are also offering more plans that appeal to consumers. Some even mimic landline companies and offer free local service. Meanwhile, the landline providers have not seen any serious increase in competition, in spite of deregulation in 1996: new providers have preferred to serve business clients.
The likely growth in cell phone calls may cause problems, however. More
airwaves and cell towers will be needed, but the airwave spectrum is limited,
and cell towers are increasingly expensive for the cash-strapped companies.
The construction of new towers is also being opposed by some community
groups on aesthetic or health grounds.
(Updated May 1, 2002)
|Source||Yuki Noguchi, "Cutting the cord," The Miami Herald, January 7, 2002.|
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