Americans paying too much for LTE? GSM Association suggests so

Americans paying too much for LTE? GSM Association suggests so

Summary: Americans are overpaying for 4G LTE service in comparison to their European counterparts, according to The GSM Association.

TOPICS: 4G, Mobility, EU, AT&T, Verizon

If you have ever found yourself complaining that you're paying too much for LTE service, some of your qualms might be justified, based on a new study.

The New York Times cited a report on Monday published by The GSM Association, which highlighted that Americans are paying anywhere between twice as much to 10 times more than Europeans are paying for 4G LTE services.

For example, Verizon Wireless, the top mobile provider in the United States at moment, was said to charge up to "$7.50 for each gigabyte of data downloaded over its LTE network," compared to the European average of $2.50. In Sweden, the rate was said to be as low as 63 cents.

While that seems like an outrageous disparity in costs across the Atlantic, the primary reason mentioned in the NYT report as to why this price gap exists is actually quite simple: competition.

The United States is a giant country with actually very little competition on the national stage when it comes to wireless providers.

The easiest example of this would be to look back at the iPhone when it was issued exclusively by AT&T, all the while it was being offered by multiple carriers (and even unlocked) in almost every other country where it was available.

Going back to the topic at hand, AT&T and Verizon are the two major sellers of LTE contracts nationwide. (That could change if the Sprint-Softbank deal goes through, but we'll have to wait and see on that one.)

But Wireless Intelligence analyst Calum Dewar pointed out to the NYT that "Europe has the greatest number of operators selling LTE: 38 of 88 operators worldwide."

Thus, you have to wonder if it's even fair to compare U.S. rates with Europe based on the current circumstances considering they're so different.

At the same time, it's perfectly fair to argue that there should be more room for competition between wireless providers in the United States because based on these prices, the consumers are going to be footing some major bills for a long time to come.

Topics: 4G, Mobility, EU, AT&T, Verizon

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  • 10GB / month costs 80$

    I'd say it's obviously too much. Comcast cable charges 65$ for 250 GB internet access / month in comparison, which is a magnitude cheaper.
  • ...had no idea?!

    For thos who like to compare:
    I live in SYdney and I'm on the iPhone 5 with Telstra's SMALL plan which entales:
    - $60 monthly cap
    - 1GB data (4g and 3g)
    - Unlimited SMS & MMS to any Australian Number
    - Free calls to any Australian Number on weekends
    - Voice & Video Calls are 99c/min with 40c flagfall
    - International SMS 50c
    - International MMS 75c
    - 3G speeds up to 4Mbps
    - 3G Dual Carriage speeds up to 13Mbps
    - 4G LTE speeds up to 60Mbps
  • Population density may still be an argument for higher prices....

    I googled Telstra's coverage and I'm not sure they would build out coverage to the lower population density areas that I expect Verizon and their co-conspirators to do in the US. I'm sure there are all sorts of differences in labor costs, building codes, existing infrastructure, and other factors to keep prices somewhat different. Of course, my personal indifference to the price derives from my personal indifference to the product. As long as I can get a good connection, 3G is fast enough for my needs.
  • Ignorance is Bliss

    Now that this article has blown away some of your ignorance and you're starting to get some very small idea about how ruthlessly you're being ripped off, HOW DO YOU FEEL?
    • I was already aware,

      and I feel OK because I refused to be fleeced. I did not sign up. I would rather do without than be ripped off.
  • Americans are ignorant

    Let's face it, Americans are just ignorant about how the rest of the world works, convinced that we have it the BEST, when we actually get a raw deal from corporations on many things - from pharmaceuticals to smartphones. India doesn't pay for incoming calls - why do we? Corporations are NOT our friends, people...!!!