Verizon Wireless Cites New Economic Analysis, Urges Spectrum Cap Elimination

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Verizon Wireless

    BEDMINSTER, N.J., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) spectrum cap, the rule which limits the amount of spectrum
 any single wireless service provider may use in a given market, should be
 eliminated to foster competition and encourage advanced wireless services,
 according to Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, the nation's
 largest wireless telecommunications service provider.  Verizon Wireless has
 filed comments with the FCC citing new research conducted by noted economists
 Dr. Robert H. Gertner and Dr. Allan L. Shampine as evidence that the spectrum
 cap is anti-competitive and hinders technological development.
     (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/VERILOGO-a
             http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/VERILOGO-b )
     Strigl said, "This report makes it clear: at the end of the day, the
 spectrum cap harms American consumers and the U.S. economy."  Strigl noted
 what the economic analysts wrote, "We also find that the spectrum cap's
 continued presence undermines the Commission's stated policy objectives for
 CMRS markets by creating inefficiencies in investment and in the introduction
 of new services."
     Verizon Wireless has consistently called for elimination of the spectrum
 cap, first introduced in 1994, and commissioned the independent research from
 Drs. Gertner and Shampine, which is an update from work initially performed in
 1998 by Gertner with Robert Crandall.  The new analysis was submitted to the
 FCC as an addendum to Verizon Wireless' April 13 FCC filing.  Dr. Gertner is
 Professor of Economics and Strategy at the Graduate School of Business of the
 University of Chicago and is Senior Vice President of Lexecon, Inc., a law and
 economics consulting firm in Chicago.  Dr. Shampine is an economist at
 Lexecon, Inc.
 
     (EDITORS:  The Verizon Wireless Spectrum Cap Filing may be viewed at the
 Verizon Wireless Web site at:
 http://news.VerizonWireless.com/docs/comments.pdf.  The entire analysis may be
 viewed on the Verizon Wireless Web site at:
 http://news.VerizonWireless.com/docs/declaration.pdf ).
 
     Among the important findings leading to the conclusion that the spectrum
 cap should be eliminated, Drs. Gertner and Shampine underscored:
     * The presence of six stable national carriers makes for a strong
       competitive wireless marketplace.
     * Eighty-eight percent of the U.S. population now has three or more
       operators offering service within their counties, and 69 percent of the
       U.S. population lives in areas with five or more mobile operators
       competing to offer service.
     * Consumer prices for wireless services have been falling for years
       despite consolidation in the wireless industry.
     * The spectrum cap creates inefficiencies in investment and in the
       introduction of advanced wireless services.
 
     The wireless subscriber base has tripled since 1995 and prices have
 declined substantially.  Despite this success story, "the spectrum cap's
 continued presence undermines the Commission's stated policy objectives for
 CMRS markets by creating inefficiencies in investment and in the introduction
 of new services," according to the economists.
     The analysis further notes the discrepancies between spectrum the foreign
 operators use against the 45 megahertz (MHz) that a U.S. operator may use.
 The four German national wireless companies hold between 60 and 70 MHz; the
 three Japanese national carriers have between 50 and 98 MHz each; and the four
 UK national carriers have between 77 and 85 MHz of spectrum each.
     "The time is now to lift the spectrum cap," Strigl said.  "I encourage the
 FCC to take concrete steps to move ahead, and to let the fierce competitors in
 the wireless marketplace do our work."
 
     About Verizon Wireless
     Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the
 U.S. with 28 million wireless voice and data customers.  The coast-to-coast
 wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless
 businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:   VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:   VOD; LSE),
 including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo
 Personal Communications.  Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than
 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S.
 markets.  The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees
 strong.  Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on
 the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
 
 

SOURCE Verizon Wireless
    BEDMINSTER, N.J., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Communications
 Commission (FCC) spectrum cap, the rule which limits the amount of spectrum
 any single wireless service provider may use in a given market, should be
 eliminated to foster competition and encourage advanced wireless services,
 according to Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, the nation's
 largest wireless telecommunications service provider.  Verizon Wireless has
 filed comments with the FCC citing new research conducted by noted economists
 Dr. Robert H. Gertner and Dr. Allan L. Shampine as evidence that the spectrum
 cap is anti-competitive and hinders technological development.
     (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/VERILOGO-a
             http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/VERILOGO-b )
     Strigl said, "This report makes it clear: at the end of the day, the
 spectrum cap harms American consumers and the U.S. economy."  Strigl noted
 what the economic analysts wrote, "We also find that the spectrum cap's
 continued presence undermines the Commission's stated policy objectives for
 CMRS markets by creating inefficiencies in investment and in the introduction
 of new services."
     Verizon Wireless has consistently called for elimination of the spectrum
 cap, first introduced in 1994, and commissioned the independent research from
 Drs. Gertner and Shampine, which is an update from work initially performed in
 1998 by Gertner with Robert Crandall.  The new analysis was submitted to the
 FCC as an addendum to Verizon Wireless' April 13 FCC filing.  Dr. Gertner is
 Professor of Economics and Strategy at the Graduate School of Business of the
 University of Chicago and is Senior Vice President of Lexecon, Inc., a law and
 economics consulting firm in Chicago.  Dr. Shampine is an economist at
 Lexecon, Inc.
 
     (EDITORS:  The Verizon Wireless Spectrum Cap Filing may be viewed at the
 Verizon Wireless Web site at:
 http://news.VerizonWireless.com/docs/comments.pdf.  The entire analysis may be
 viewed on the Verizon Wireless Web site at:
 http://news.VerizonWireless.com/docs/declaration.pdf ).
 
     Among the important findings leading to the conclusion that the spectrum
 cap should be eliminated, Drs. Gertner and Shampine underscored:
     * The presence of six stable national carriers makes for a strong
       competitive wireless marketplace.
     * Eighty-eight percent of the U.S. population now has three or more
       operators offering service within their counties, and 69 percent of the
       U.S. population lives in areas with five or more mobile operators
       competing to offer service.
     * Consumer prices for wireless services have been falling for years
       despite consolidation in the wireless industry.
     * The spectrum cap creates inefficiencies in investment and in the
       introduction of advanced wireless services.
 
     The wireless subscriber base has tripled since 1995 and prices have
 declined substantially.  Despite this success story, "the spectrum cap's
 continued presence undermines the Commission's stated policy objectives for
 CMRS markets by creating inefficiencies in investment and in the introduction
 of new services," according to the economists.
     The analysis further notes the discrepancies between spectrum the foreign
 operators use against the 45 megahertz (MHz) that a U.S. operator may use.
 The four German national wireless companies hold between 60 and 70 MHz; the
 three Japanese national carriers have between 50 and 98 MHz each; and the four
 UK national carriers have between 77 and 85 MHz of spectrum each.
     "The time is now to lift the spectrum cap," Strigl said.  "I encourage the
 FCC to take concrete steps to move ahead, and to let the fierce competitors in
 the wireless marketplace do our work."
 
     About Verizon Wireless
     Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the
 U.S. with 28 million wireless voice and data customers.  The coast-to-coast
 wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless
 businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:   VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:   VOD; LSE),
 including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo
 Personal Communications.  Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than
 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S.
 markets.  The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees
 strong.  Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on
 the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.
 
 SOURCE  Verizon Wireless