The Case for Adding a Warning Label to Rewheel’s International Price Comparison and Competitiveness Rankings

The Situation

Rewheel, a Finnish consultancy, periodically issues reports that it portrays as international competitiveness comparisons of retail prices for mobile wireless services across the globe. However, these comparisons are not accurate representations of the state of competition in the mobile wireless world. In these reports, Rewheel assigns providers and countries international ranks and various competitive labels.

While the internet is a fabulous means of communications, the Digital Fuel Monitor by Rewheel/research is a prime example of online misinformation. To curb the spread of false information, social media platforms have started applying warning labels to content they believe the facts do not support. Still, far too many false claims have attracted attention because separating fact from fiction on the internet often requires specific expertise.

NERA's Role

In response to the release of Rewheel’s Digital Fuel Monitor, TELUS Inc. retained NERA Managing Director Dr. Christian Dippon to co-author a paper with several other prominent economists from around the world. In the paper, the authors apply their expertise about mobile wireless markets to expose the false claims put forth by Rewheel/research in the recent publication of its Digital Fuel Monitor

The Result

Given the many theoretical and practical flaws and errors contained in the Rewheel study, the authors find it of no value when comparing prices internationally or establishing the level of competition in a country. A warning label informing readers about the lack of intellectual rigor and the misleading and incorrect nature of the Rewheel study’s results is appropriate and recommended.