updated 07:37 pm EDT, Mon October 15, 2012
Study compares US and European LTE rates
American wireless customers are paying significantly more for LTE service than are their counterparts in Europe. This according to a new study from the research arm of the GSM Association, which represents mobile operators. The study looked at LTE service rates in the United States and in several European countries, finding that data policies among the major American carriers, in combination with a lack of competition, are driving up the cost of service far beyond what European customers pay.
The study found that Verizon, leader among American LTE providers, charges $7.50 per gigabyte of data provided over its LTE network. On average, European customers pay $2.50 per gigabyte, while Swedish customers pay as little as 63 cents per gigabyte.
The study pointed to the fact that American providers sell LTE as part of a larger mobile package, while European operators sell it as a stand-alone service at a lower price. American providers have increasingly phased out unlimited data packages in favor of bundled data packages, which net them higher revenues.
The lack of competition among LTE providers, too, plays a role in the cost difference. AT&T and Verizon dominate the market in the United States, whereas the European market has more competition: 38 operators compared to the two major options in the United States. European customers are also able to buy LTE on a pay-as-you-go basis from virtual network operators.