Americans talk, surf more than Europeans on cells (Update)

May 29, 2013 by Peter Svensson

Americans pay more for their cell service than Europeans, but they're getting a lot more use out of their phones, a global wireless trade group said Wednesday.

The GSM Association urged European regulators to take cues from the U.S. It pointed out that U.S. consumers talk five times as much as Europeans on their cellphones and use twice as much data. AT&T and Verizon Wireless also have the lead in introducing the latest network technology, which means average data downloads are 75 percent faster in the U.S., the group found.

Europe led the world in wireless technology a decade ago, pioneering the shift from analog phone networks to digital ones. But the continent has lagged behind as cellphones have become data devices, the GSMA said.

The trade group said European carriers are lagging because they're smaller, meaning they can't capture savings from efficiency the way U.S. carriers can. It's urging regulators to make it easier to build cross-border businesses. In the U.S., the allocation of space on the airwaves is controlled by the federal government, but each of the 27 EU countries controls its own radio spectrum, making it difficult to coordinate the use of radio frequencies across borders.

The four largest U.S. wireless carriers—Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA—are each larger than the largest European carrier.

Americans paid an average of $69 per month last year for cellphone service, compared with $38 in the European Union, the study found. For their monthly fees, Americans got 901 minutes of calls and 480 megabytes of data traffic, compared with Europeans' 170 minutes of calls and 273 megabytes of data.

The continents are diverging further, the study found. Although increased use of data-intensive devices such as tablets is encouraging Americans to pay more and consume more, Europeans are scrimping, cutting their monthly rates. The higher monthly fees in the U.S. encourage investment in networks, pushing data speeds higher, the study found.

Explore further: Feds get closer look at fake mobile bill charges

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Telecom CEOs: US regulators better than Europe (Update 2)

Feb 25, 2013

(AP)—The CEOs of AT&T, Vodafone and Telefonica—three of the world's largest cellphone companies—had some rare words of praise for U.S. regulators Monday, saying they're doing better than their European counterparts ...

US stolen phone database in operation

Nov 01, 2012

US mobile carriers began implementing a system this week to block the use of stolen mobile phones, part of an effort to curb rising thefts of smartphones such as the iPhone.

Feds get closer look at fake mobile bill charges

May 08, 2013

(AP)—When a mysterious, unauthorized fee appears on your cellphone bill, it's called "cramming" and consumer advocates and regulators worry it's emerging as a significant problem as people increasingly ditch their landlines ...

T-Mobile USA to make data network work with iPhone

Feb 23, 2012

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA on Thursday said it will revamp its wireless data network this year, with the side effect of making it compatible with iPhones and some other smartphones sold by competing carriers.

Verizon rakes in wireless fees in 1Q

Apr 18, 2013

Verizon says its profit rose 16 percent in the latest quarter as revenue from wireless service kept rising at a rate that's the envy of the industry.

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet May 29, 2013
Except that in many European countries you buy your phone and only then join a provider.

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.