Terry Wohler's analysis has already shown itself to be correct. There
have already been mergers and acquisitions, failures of some SBs, and
among the survivors, there has been a steady decline in the prices they
can command for their services.
I doubt that the proliferation of new RP technologies will slow this
process; in fact it may acellerate it. Small SBs in financial difficulty
are not the ones who will be buying new equipment, no matter how much
more efficient it is.
This trend is little affected by the total volume of RP services going
up. Business sectors can mature while growing, and I see little chance
for a breakthrough technology that will lead to huge price reductions.
Barring huge increases in demand that outweigh the price reductions, the
consolidation of the SB field will continue. The little or innefficient
firms will be unable to obtain the economies of scale or weather the
periods of red ink, and they will cease to exist. All this proves is
that the RP industry is an industry like any other industry - it's simply
capitalism at work.
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