3GSM Cold Leftovers: But Last Year, Subsidies Were Going Away?

What happened to the handset subsidy debate? At last year’s 3GSM show, we heard from multiple CEOs of top wireless carriers that they hated subsidies on handsets, and that they were going away. We observed a few things: that’s nuts since subsidies are what allow them to control the terminal device and thus the mobile experience, having multiple CEOs announce this sounds a bit like collusion, and lastly that it’ll never happen. Well, this year, subsidies seem to be alive and well. They appear to be off the official agenda at the show, and the only evidence we’ve seen that they’ve dropped anywhere is in China, where Unicom and China Mobile have both reduced subsidy rates – which once again sounds a bit like collusion.

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