Americans paying too much for LTE, says GSMA report

October 15, 2012
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(Image credit: ExtremeTech)

You may be enjoying fast data speeds on your latest Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5. But if you’re in the U.S., you might be paying too much for high-speed wireless broadband. A report by the GSM Association says Americans are paying thrice the European average and as much as 10 times as in some European countries.

LTE is almost three years old in Sweden, which is the first ever market that launched this wireless standard. Since then, 88 carriers around the world carry LTE, with the U.S. being the biggest market, so far. A comparison by the GSMA, though, says Americans are paying a higher price per gigabyte than European users by as much as 10 times.

For instance, Verizon Wireless charges $7.50 per GB. In comparison, the average cost per GB in Europe is $2.50. In Sweden, LTE costs $0.63 per GB.

The GSMA study considered other inclusions to cellular packages, including voice and SMS. But if a user were to subscribe to a data-only plan, this brings the cost to $5.50 per GB, which is still twice the European average.

GSMA attributes the price discrepancy to competition, saying there are too few players in the U.S. to warrant competition. Also, European carriers usually offer LTE as an add-on or pay-as-you-go service. In the U.S., LTE is bundled with other services, which can drive up the cost. The trend is the same with 3G subscriptions. Americans pay an average of $115 per month on 3G. The average is $51 monthly in the Netherlands and $59 monthly in the UK.

Do you think you’re paying too much for mobile data? Would you prefer a pay-as-you-go service, or a service bundled with your mobile plan?

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