Wireless carriers are fighting over you--and that's a good thing
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“This industry blows,” T-Mobile ceo John Legere announced on Jan. 8 at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). That might seem like an odd statement from the leader of the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., but it’s also–from a consumer standpoint–an accurate one.
For a decade, the U.S. wireless business has used the same basic model: carriers entice customers with heavily discounted phones, then hook them with two-year service contracts and sky-high termination fees (as much as $350 for a new iPhone with Verizon) so they can’t easily switch if a better deal appears elsewhere. And although carriers battled one another to build superior networks and gain exclusive access to popular phones, they didn’t challenge the fundamentals of the business.