With the recent acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T, Verizon is now the #2 biggest mobile carrier. Verizon has been the top dog for quite a while now and as we move closer to a mobile universe almost completely controlled by 2 carriers, one has to wonder if Verizon may try to gobble up some smaller carriers to make sure they don’t lose any more ground.
I’m not hoping for this type of merger, but it’s definitely a possibility. The advantages are better phones, and a new 4G network in some places (which currently wouldn’t be available for most US Cellular users anyways), but you’d lose the great customer service, and cheaper cell plans with US Cellular phones. As the number of companies become fewer and fewer, so does the competition which raises prices. There’s no doubt AT&T and Verizon would still be competing with each other, but it wouldn’t take much work for the companies to work together on pricing to fleece customers.
With cell phone plan pricing already skyrocketing, the talk about raising prices again is already on the table. Verizon has recently stated that they would soon lose their $30 unlimited plan, and move towards a tiered data plan which is really just “company-speak” for wanting to charge customers more. It won’t be long until many people are paying $200 a month for their phone plan which just seems crazy to me.
There’s nothing official out there about this possible merger, but I wanted to bring it to your attention just in case it does pop up. I can almost guarantee within the next year US Cellular will become a target by one of the two big companies, but whether they want to sell is another issue. US Cellular may decide that this is their opportunity to be the third option for people wanting to get out of the big-box stores and lower pricing. If you’re reading any of the other mobile blogs and forums out there, you can already see customer satisfaction is dropping, and if people get pushed much further you may see a migration away from the big duopoly.
If we hear anything new, we’ll update this post.