Compare Your Cell Bill to a Brit’s: You’re Paying a Lot More

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

American cellphone plans are among the world’s most expensive.

When it comes to the quality and affordability of cellphone service, Americans seem to be getting the shaft.

According to The New York Times, American cellphone service is expensive. In fact, it’s among the most costly in the world.

If you compare a cellphone plan in the U.S. with a similar plan in Britain, there is a significant difference in cost. For instance, an iPhone 5S with 16 gigabytes of memory, 2 GB of data, unlimited voice and texting, and a two-year commitment costs about $109 per month in the U.S., according to the Times. A similar plan in the U.K. offers unlimited data and still comes in at just $68 per month.

So why the hefty price difference? The Times said:

Several factors are involved, but an important one is regulatory policy. Britain has forced companies to lease their networks to competitors at cost. The United States has not, allowing a formidable barrier against competitors.
“The United States lacks meaningful competition in its cellular market sector, which leads to higher cell plan prices than a growing list of other countries,” said Sascha Meinrath, founder of the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation.

Smartphone news site AndroidCentral argues that simply looking at the cost doesn’t tell the whole story. While U.S. consumers are paying big bucks for a cellphone plan, it’s still a relatively small percentage of their income.

When looking at countries that have mobile data prices under 2.5 percent of [gross national income], the U.S. is back in familiar company with Canada, Mexico, most all of Europe and Russia. Though these cheaper European plans may be in the range of 0.5 to 1 percent of GNI and therefore still dramatically cheaper than the U.S., those of us in the states may not have it as bad as we might think.

Still, Americans continue to pay more for their cellphone plans than their counterparts across the globe, even though the service might not be as good. And it doesn’t look like things will change anytime soon.

“Over the next decade, U.S. consumers may overpay by over a quarter of a trillion dollars for worse levels of service than customers in other countries receive,” Meinrath said.

Are you surprised to see how much more Americans pay for cellphone plans than consumers in other countries? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 7 Smart Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,690 more deals!