The Effect of Entry and Market Structure on Cellular Pricing Tactics
NET Institute Working Paper No. 03-13
47 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2004
Date Written: November 2004
We test the effect of entry on the tariff choices of incumbent cellular firms. We relate the change in the breadth of calling plans between 1996, when incumbents enjoyed a duopoly market, and 1998, when incumbents faced increased competition from personal communications services (PCS) firms. Entry by PCS competitors differed across geographic markets due to the number of licenses left undeveloped as a result of the bankruptcy of some of the auctions' winning bidders and due to variation across markets in the time required to build a sufficiently large network of wireless infrastructure. We find that incumbents increase tariff variety in markets with more entrants and that this effect is not explained by demographic heterogeneity or cost differences in maintaining calling plans across markets. We also find that incumbents are more likely to upgrade their technology from the old analog technology to the new digital technology in markets with more entry, suggesting that entry also has indirect effects on tariff choice via firms' technology adoption decisions.
Keywords: entry, market structure, cellular, price discrimination, nonlinear pricing, telecommunications
JEL Classification: L11, L13, L25, L96
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation