In assessing Wireless Estimator’s Top 10 News stories in 2021, there were dozens to choose from pertaining to safety, fatalities, 5G infrastructure, COVID-19, workforce shortages, and Dish’s ambitious buildout.
However, there was one story that dwarfed all others in readership and its ability to shape 2021 and beyond – NATE’s full-court press in exposing and championing its core contractor members’ concerns regarding ‘take it or leave it’ matrix pricing by Tier 1 companies.
On October 12, 2021, NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association came out with a well-crafted whiteboard video that explained the pricing pressures that were forcing some contractors to close their doors and others to not accept the unsustainable matrix pricing.
The message dovetailed into so many other 2021 articles on the race to 5G, workforce retention, and safety concerns that it deserves a stand-alone shout-out as the Story of the Year.
Tier 1 companies had never encountered any resistance to their ever-decreasing matrix pricing and were caught off guard. One company drafted a petition that basically told NATE to ‘shut up’ and matrix pricing problems will be resolved.
There were no takers, but the whiteboard clearly initiated a dialogue between Tier 1 companies, NATE and contractors to address the problem.
Dish Network was one of the first companies to assess their matrix pricing and has made some adjustments to ensure that the country’s contractor workforce remains strong.