U.S. Mobile Phone Users Pay Among Highest Prices in the World
American mobile phone customers pay more for service than almost anyone else in the world, although wireless prices in Canada and Spain are also in that top tier. Go to Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands for the cheapest mobile phone rates, according to the global 2009 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Communications Outlook, published last week.
Globally, the monthly fees for mobile service (in U.S. funds equivalent) range from $11 to $53.The OECD study found that overall prices for wireless services dropped from 2006 to 2008. Customers with highest consumption levels enjoyed price declines of 32%, while sparse users saw rates fall by about 21%. Analysts explained that the reason for continuing high prices in the U.S. and Canada is that the wireless carriers subsidize handsets and build some payback into usage rates. In addition, the absence of a "calling party pays" system here - which would shift the burden to the caller - establishes a far different pricing pattern than in most other countries.
An equally stunning OECD finding was that 41% of homes had dropped their landline subscriptions in the 30 OECD member countries surveyed. That represents a massive shift in reliance on mobile phones.