The US cell phone needs to change and become an engine of economic growth. Merely stopping AT&T and the T-Mobile merger is not enough. The industry needs total overhaul and I am saying this from a recent visit to India where the cell phone is changing the economy as the motor car changed the economy in the US in post war years. And that was the bricks economy so cars worked. To really plug and play in the global high tech click economy the US cell phone Industry must:
1. Make incoming calls free. By doing so communication will improve in the family, community and ultimately business. India has free incoming calls and you just give a missed call .. The equivalent of a facebook poke. And things start moving .... free to both parties.
2.Free incoming and privacy. Ask colleagues and they'll tell you that it's not calls that they object to but it is the very long times you are expected culturally in the US to talk on the phone. Perhaps making first 3 minutes free for the caller will jump-start the economy and not be such a time and money killer for the receiver of the call.
3. Ban 2 year contracts - sell unlocked phones. Do you know that you cannot use an iPhone from AT&T at Verizon or vice versa? In fact you cannot use a US phone with a SIM card overseas and there is a whole bunch of advice on how/why to Jail Break an iPhone. Now the US business starts paying over 2 $ a minute on global roaming and stops receiving calls overseas except from the most interested business contacts. And we expect US businesses to compete globally !
The shrinking US cell phone industry including the recent Verizon labor troubles is not good for the either the cell phone industry,US business, employment or labor.
Something to think over, while this blog wishes a great labor day weekend to blog readers.