The minor mobile operators of the United States ask the FCC to investigate the practices that bind, as in the case of the iPhone, a particular mobile phone to an operator, creating an exclusive bond. The letter sent by the so-called "rural operators" was made known today and taken up by all the major American media that give it great evidence.
The document (here in PDF version) starts right from the iPhone as an example of the problems that arise for consumers and minor operators from an exclusive contract. On the one hand, the writers of the letter say, there are some cell phone users who cannot buy iPhones because they would be forced to enter into a contract with At & T while living in an area where At & T does not offer coverage and to take advantage of roaming. In this case, since the operator does not allow more than 40% of time to roam, the only alternative is to unlock the mobile phone; the situation would be quite common, rural operators say since it occurs, as well as in many suburban areas of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nebraska Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota , Utah, Vermont and Wyoming. The residents of Alaska and Vermont, in particular, would have been among the least favored; At the launch of the iPhone, At & T did not have a single store in Alaska and even a coverage service and an inhabitant of that state could not enter into a contract, according to the rules of At & T. In Vermont this situation continues today.
In turn, rural operators in the face of this situation are unable to match the offer of the "Big Five" (At & T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Alltel Wireless) and are at a disadvantage in the offer and lose customers, which generates an unfair advantage from large operators. "This does not mean creating a market that is in favor of consumers – says the document – who need, instead, to be protected and someone to restore a true competitive market"