U.S. smartphone owners pay 3-10 times more for 4G LTE data, says study


We can now add 4G LTE service to the list of things Americans pay significantly more to have than the rest of the world — right next to education and health care. According to a GSM Association study reported by the New York Times, Americans pay three times more per gigabyte of data than the average European consumers — and ten times more than Sweden. But at least we can get a large pizza for just $5, right America?

The study revealed that America’s leading LTE provider, Verizon Wireless, charges its subscribers $7.50 for every gigabyte of data downloaded over its network. In comparison, the average cost of a gig in Europe is $2.50. Sweden leads the way in inexpensive service, with data only ringing up at $0.63 per gigabyte.

Verizon spokeswomen Brenda Raney did counter this information by pointing out the Verizon plan that is being compared is from its Share Everything plan, which includes unlimited call and text minutes and allows data to be shared among ten devices. If a person was to purchase a data only plan, similar to how the European providers offer service, they would only pay over twice the European average with a cost of $5.50 per gigabyte. Of course, Europeans separate talk and data plans, though. Verizon, on the other hand, is forcing all new users to sign up for Share Everything plans. And though you can connect up to 10 devices to an account, there is a monthly fee per device, which ranges from $10 to $40. 

Verizon was the first company to roll out 4G LTE in the United States, followed by AT&T. Verizon still owns the market with 11.6 million LTE subscribers (AT&T reports just short of a million), or about 43 percent of the world’s 27 million LTE users. The lone country to beat Verizon to market just happens to be the cheapest: Sweden. The cost gap seems to have everything to do with competition, though. Europe has 38 of the world’s 88 LTE providers fighting for subscribers. Austria and Finland have three within their borders alone. Meanwhile, the world’s largest market for mobile, the United States, is still playing catch up in this regard.

This has actually been a trend with phone service in the United States. The average cost of a 3G contract runs an American citizen $115 a month. In comparison, citizens of the Netherlands pay $51 and those in Britain pay $59. The higher costs keep the adoption rate at a slow climb, which in turn keeps the cost up on those that have jumped on board because the provider has to recoup costs from building  the network. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that is very American: Pay more, consume more, and get less.

Product Review

Fascinating Finney phone is crypto in a nutshell: Exciting, but also terrifying

The Sirin Labs Finney phone is to cryptocurrency what the iPhone is to Apple Pay. It facilitates the payment, processing, and exchanging of cryptocurrencies on a smartphone, and surprisingly does it in a user-friendly way.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Galaxy S9: How much better is Samsung’s new flagship?

You'd naturally expect the Samsung Galaxy S10 to be better than last year's S9, but just how do the two phones differ? We break down the specs and compare Samsung's flagships in various categories to pick a winner.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Product Review

Galaxy Watch Active is the right size, no matter how big or small your wrist is

Launched among a massive array of other new products, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active could easily have been missed at Galaxy Unpacked 2019 -- which would be unfortunate. This is a sensibly designed, correctly sized smartwatch suitable for…

Protect and style your Samsung Galaxy S10 with the best cases and covers

If you've splashed the cash for a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S10, then you'll want to take steps to protect your investment. With a metal frame and glass curves, the S10 needs some cover. Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S10 cases.
Health & Fitness

Nike’s Android app is bricking its $350 Adapt BB self-lacing shoes

A firmware update for Nike's new self-lacing Adapt BB shoe appears to be bricking the $350 footwear for some owners. Android users have said the Nike app no longer pairs with the shoe, rendering the tightening mechanism useless.

You can now pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.