You are here

Verizon's big wireless broadband adds: no DSL/Cable duopoly

As I flagged in my blog post on the FCC broadband competition report last week, mobile wireless broadband is growing hyper fast, so fast that over one out of three new high-speed additions, is not DSL or cable, but wireless broadband.

Yesterday, Verizon in its quarterly earnings report added more information supporting the fast growth of this increasingly competitive alternative. Verizon reported that in the last year, it has added 10 million new broadband-capable wireless devices, laptop aircards, EVDo enabled Treos and Blackberries. By any measure this is very fast growth and proves the competitive dynamism of the broadband marketplace, and undermines calls for net neutrality that claim insufficient competition.  
One reason for this rapid growth is that "mobility" as a feature, is in high demand and is a big competitive differentiator to wired broadband like DSL and Cable. While these adds are still generally in the business segment and are additive and not replacing people's DSL and cable, the growth here is exactly what a new innovative market that is free of regulation produces -- new products and services that gain rapid adoption becuase companies are free to differentiate and meet customers' needs and wants.

The other big reason for wireless broadband taking off now (after it was a bust in the late 1990's with Teligent and Windstar) is that Moores Law (which means that the price performance of microchips doubles every 18 months) has enabled the equipment cost to fall to the point where capital costs are a small percentage of the overall cost in providing wireless broadband service. In other words, wireless broadband is relatively cheap to provide! Look for more competitive entrants, like Sprint, Cingular, Alltel and Clearwire to help this wireless broadband growth to continue to explode.