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Do U.S. Cell Phone Users Pay More?

Wireless lobbyists this week are circulating a Forbes story that refutes the methodology of a 30-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report that showed U.S. cell phone users were paying more than any other users for service.

What do you think?

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 11, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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Revenue per minute isn't exactly a great way to look at it either.

Here's one comparison:

300minutes on t mobile in US is $29.99/mo
300 minutes on t mobile in UK is L22.50/mo

For the extra $5 or so you do get free unlimited texts. But the prices seem pretty comparable.

Posted by: ah___ | September 11, 2009 10:48 AM

I just read the Forbes report. I'm not sure what was in the OECD Communications Outlook since I didn't see a link for it. My experience is mostly limited to Italy but I believe that this applies throughout much of Europe. In Italy, there are two significant differences in mobile plans compared to the typical plan in the USA. First, the person who receives the call doesn't pay per minute charges, only the person who made the call (this explains why a call to a land-line vs a cell in Italy is charged different rates). Second, most cell phones are pre-paid, meaning that all fees/taxes/etc are in the per-minute rate, whereas in the USA, these are added to the post-paid bill.

That being said, the Forbes article wasn't clear if when referring to post-paid plans, if a mobile minute is the minutes in your plan or the minutes that you actually used. This would make a significant different (if I have a 300 minute plan and only use 150 minutes, then my per minute cost for the month is double that if I had used all 300 minutes).

Posted by: ArlingtonSMP | September 11, 2009 12:12 PM

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