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.