An International Comparison of Cell Phone Plans and Prices | NewAmerica.net
In OTIs study, we researched cell phone voice, text and data services for prepaid, regular postpaid, and unlimited postpaid plans provided by prominent cell phone carriers in 11 countries. We consider unbundled services using rates available to individual consumers.1 To provide a more direct comparison, our study indicates the price in US Dollar USD2 per minute, per text, and per megabyte at a unit level and minimum total cost of individual cell phone package.
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The results should not be a shock: Americans (generally) pay more than everyone else–except Canadians, who pay more. While in general, it’s difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison because of all the “free” minutes one might get for various reasons, I think the most telling is the comparison among 11 different countries for the minimum cost for a complete mobile phone package (which includes voice, text, and data service):
In Canada and U.S., consumers have the highest minimum monthly charge for a complete postpaid cell phone service at $67.50 and $59.99 respectively. Other countries that follow a similar cost structure at lower rates are U.K. at $32.40, Denmark at $39.00, and Finland at $40.10. These costs are based on plans where consumers are charged for a preset amount of voice minutes, texts, and/or data amount irrespective of the minimum amount of service they use. Consumers do have the option of choosing higher preset limits if their usage volume is higher. After going above the preset threshold, consumers are charged by high per usage rates.
I fully expect the CTIA to make an attempt to debunk this study and say something along the lines of “the US market is competitive and provides a great value.” I’ll believe them when the overall bills aren’t among the highest in the world for, in some cases, substandard service.