Oligopoly is where several companies work together to form a monopoly of a service which they then jointly control and this is what is happening in the United States today with the phone carriers. The big four mobile phone companies in the US have between them, 93% of all the business and therefore control the market. These phone companies all offer contracts services only and therefore as their individual contracts only actually vary in minimum degrees, they make their own contract fees with little worries of any other, smaller phone operator undercutting them. It isn’t because another company can’t undercut them or that they can’t offer a better service at less price, it is just that the large advertising campaigns that each of these big four companies wage, makes it seem that anything better that is offered must somehow be some kind of scam.
The truth though is, it could not be any further from the truth and that is that cheaper services can be offered, at a cheaper rate and without any contracts having to be signed, it is just that the American public have been instilled with the thought that as these companies are large and have large numbers join them, they must be good. Unfortunately though, not all the best known brands are really the best, it is just that their propaganda is the best and when you get four of the main companies that provide the same service, distilling the same propaganda, then that propaganda is more easily swallowed.
One small company that is trying to swim upstream and offer cheaper services for the same level of service that the better known companies offer, is ting and as many ting review will show, their service is as good and its prices are far cheaper. This company offers the same range of coverage and personal support that is both human and quick, at a small percentage of the cost offered by contracts with one of the big four phone companies. One of the reasons why the service is cheaper is that the customer pays on a per call basis, plus a very small monthly fee, often adding up to savings of more than 50% over contract rates.
The big four companies do however maintain one advantage that the smaller companies cannot usually match and that is the offering of cheap phones when you sign a contract with them. This initial saving though, will not usually add up to the savings that someone can make over even half a year, let alone one year of using one of the smaller companies.
One example that is shown in a ting review is that a customer buys a full price smartphone for $300 and then pays a $17 joining fee but his monthly bills for calls made, only came to an average of $30 which, compared to his earlier contract with one of the big four which was $80 per month, was a good saving, allowing him to reap back the cost of his phone in just 3 months.