This column was originally published on RealMoney on July 28 at 10:09 a.m. EDT.

The arms race is heating up, big-time. After five years in which technological proliferation seemed to have ground to a halt, we now have a raging war on our hands among the big service providers, the

Verizons

(VZ) - Get Report

and the

Comcasts

(CMCSA) - Get Report

, the

Echostars

(DISH) - Get Report

and the

News Corps.

(NWS) - Get Report

, and the winners are the suppliers and the customers, even as the providers themselves keep losing.

When companies like

Arris

(ARRS) - Get Report

, which makes cable equipment, and

Alcatel

(ALA)

, which makes broadband equipment, report blowout numbers, that's because of the arms race. When

Broadcom

(BRCM)

and

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

blow the numbers away, that's the arms race. When the

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

and the

National Semis

(NSM)

do well, that, too, is the arms race, the attempt to get the consumer to stick with one provider vs. churning to another.

Who wins?

Who cares? Although I do believe that cable has the upper hand.

Image placeholder title

I keep talking about this

technology bull market. At the heart of it is the need for well-capitalized companies like Verizon and

SBC

(SBC)

and Comcast to keep their customers from migrating to another service. Churn is the enemy right now; you can't be seen losing customers, hard-won customers. But you can't keep them unless you offer the best DVRs, the best speed and the best reception. Without it, you will lose.

That's the arms race. After years of all of these service providers being strapped, they now are in fighting trim, and they are making something happen, for you and for the tech companies. Not for themselves.

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Comcast.

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