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U.S. cellphone services among highest priced?

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Wed August 12, 2009

OECD Communications report

Canada, Spain and the U.S. have the highest cost of cellphone services according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest Communications Outlook. The report compares domestic prices across countries for low-, medium- and high-use mobile phone consumers. The Communications Outlook suggests that between 2006 and 2008, mobile phone call prices dropped an average of 21 percent for low-usage consumers, while costs accrued by medium- and high-usage consumers fell 28 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

The OECD terms low use as 360 voice calls, 396 SMS and eight MMS per year and medium use as 780 voice calls, 600 SMS and eight MMS per year. High use is termed as 1680 voice calls, 660 SMS and 12 MMS per year.

The OECD report additionally suggests that the lowest mobile rates are in Finland, Netherlands and Sweden. The survey found that monthly prices ranged from $11 to $53 across OECD countries for the month of August.

The CTIA issued a response to the OECD report insisting that U.S. prices remain competitive. The Wireless Association suggests the OECD survey was skewed due to the fact that consumers in the U.S. would use more than the presumed medium-use package of 63 minutes, 50 SMS messages and less than one MMS message a month. The CTIA says the average U.S. customer would have to pay $53 per month following the OECD's methodology.

CTIA's semi-annual survey indicates that the average wireless consumer uses approximately 760 minutes and more than 400 SMS per month, and suggests the OECD report does not reflect the correct usage data to be accurate. The Wireless Association additionally says American consumers pay the lowest per minute rates of all the OECD countries.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Seems poor

    The study seems to have a poorly thought out criteria.

    Each country seems to discount some services and overprice others. In Europe, data is pricey while voice is relatively cheap. In the Philippines, IMs are so cheap, they're used far more than voice calls. Here IMs are hideously overpriced.

    The study should have taken into account those differences, breaking down and rating costs by services rather than creating an abstract 'user' that's typical of almost no one.

  1. dadrian

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't matter much

    I'm glad the prices for data in Europe are higher. I hate twitter :D
    If i want to know what someone is doing, i call them.
    About the prices for mobile services, since Canada and USA employees have those salaries, who cares? the mobile operators are just in the right place to exploit them. And people will pay gladly.

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