T-Mobile granted rule-change in fight over AT&T, Verizon roaming charges

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in legal on (#2W4S)
T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, won its bid to change rules for judging whether market leaders AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. charge smaller competitors too much to use their networks for roaming. The Federal Communications Commission in an order released today said it would grant a petition from T-Mobile, and would compare proposed roaming rates with other prices, during disputes.

As usual, Verizon claimed the rule change would "discourage investment". AT&T says T-Mobile "has other options, including building out its own broadband network", and said they will challenge the FCC's decision.

The average data roaming rate paid by T-Mobile in 2013 was 30ยข/MB. With T-Mobile's $30 for 5 GByte per month plan, using your entire quota while roaming would actually cost the company about $1,500 in roaming fees. AT&T drives-up that price, charging 150 percent more than the average rate T-Mobile pays for data roaming elsewhere.

Re: Discourage investment? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2014-12-21 18:45 (#2W7Y)

That's the implication... It's a veiled threat to sabotage their own customers, out of spite. Verizon has bandied the same argument about with in the net neutrality debates regarding both their cellular and FIOS networks.

With FIOS it might sting the affected customers a bit, but would really just deliver more subscribers into the hands of cable companies, hurting Verizon even more. But with cellular, it's a particularly ridiculous claim, as they've recently been losing large numbers of customers to T-Mobile/Sprint, and have been forced to reluctantly cut their prices to reduce the churn. Failing to maintain their network would lose them even more customers, and require many further price cuts to maintain their position.
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