I just read some staggering data: By 2016, U.S. wireless industry will help bring about more productivity gains ?$427 billion annually — than auto and pharmaceutical industries combined, according to a just-released report from consultancy Ovum.
Where will these benefits come from? Well, employees will increasingly use wireless broadband networks to access the Web from anywhere. Such networks should improve efficiency of providing at-home health-care services and help enable a much more mobile sales force. Wireless voice services will continue to displace desktop phones.
Clearly the CTIA, the wireless industry’s association that commissioned the Ovum study, has done so hoping for some favors, such as less regulation. I suspect that the Big Two — AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which control the lion’s share of U.S. wireless subscribers – are trying to prove that market consolidation of recent years has not had an adverse effect on consumers. And they want to warn Congress and regulators to thread carefully with efforts such as free-broadband-for-all, currently in review by the Federal Communications Commission, to make sure they don’t disrupt the industry — so Ovum’s productivity projections can come true.