British telecoms: Mobile marriages | The Economist: "In a group of four, the smallest operator is often the one that tries to shake things up. In Britain, for instance, Three has kept its prices low and did not charge extra for using 4G, the latest wireless technology. In America, after plans to merge with Sprint came to naught, T-Mobile USA has started a price war and introduced new products. Most recently, it launched a programme called “Smartphone Equality” which allows even customers without a good credit score to get a cheap contract.
By contrast, in markets where regulators have allowed the number of independent mobile networks to drop to three, such maverick operators are generally lacking—with the result that prices go up and the range of offerings is reduced. In Austria, for instance, where Hutchison Whampoa also acquired a competitor, prices jumped by about 10% after the merger, according to the OECD." 'via Blog this'