Lobby group rebrands for fight against AT&T and Verizon


“Over the past several years, the wireless industry has seen increased consolidation and the emergence of a market duopoly. In light of the duopoly and the threat of further industry consolidation, our members — both large and small — all share a common goal,” Steve Berry, the group's president and CEO, said in a statement. 

“CCA will continue to work with policymakers to ensure competitive policies are adopted, which will benefit consumers, the economy and job growth. The organization will continue to be a home for competitive carriers through our advocacy efforts, trade shows, and industry ecosystem development programs.” 

Speaking on Capitol Hill on Monday, Berry argued that the split in the wireless industry is now between the big two companies and everyone else.

"That's sort of the continental divide now: those that are for competition and those that ain't," Berry said.

"We hope the name immediately conveys a description of our policy issues," he said.

A top goal for the group is preventing AT&T and Verizon from acquiring too much spectrum, the radio frequencies that all devices need to transmit their signals. There is only a limited amount of spectrum available, and without it, the association's members would be unable to compete against the national giants.

The group also fights to ensure that its members pay low rates for access to other companies' networks.

"Face it, everyone sells a national product now," Berry said. "If you can't access your emails or your voice mails [while you travel], it's not going to be a very popular product."

Regional companies pay the national firms so their customers can roam on the larger networks when they travel. 

CTIA is the trade association that lobbies for policies that benefit both small and large wireless carriers.

— This story was updated at 2:58 p.m.