The latest report into the world mobile market by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that US mobile phone users pay some of the highest rates in the world.
The report compares rates in the organisation’s 30 member states and found that low- and medium-level mobile phone users paid far more in the US than other states. For medium-use models US users pay $53 compared with $11 in the Netherlands. Figures for the UK were just below average.
However, the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) has disputed the figures, saying that they do not give the full picture.
“Only by picking such unrepresentative 'representative' call packages, could the OECD have reached such a result," the CTIA said. "For example, the OECD defines a 'medium use' customer as someone making 780 minutes of calls a year, and sending 600 SMS and 8 MMS messages a year.
“The report also says that based on their methodology, a US customer would pay $53 a month in order to get that level of service. But that assumed 'medium' basket works out to about 63 minutes, 50 SMS messages, and less than one MMS message a month. That just doesn’t reflect reality.”
Elsewhere the report noted that mobile now makes up 41 per cent of global telecommunications revenues, and in 10 member countries they now made up over half of all revenues.
Overall revenues were holding up well despite economic circumstances, it said, since businesses and consumers now overwhelmingly considered a mobile phone a necessity, not a luxury.
Furthermore, costs to users were falling rapidly. Between 2006 and 2008 call prices fell on average by 21 per cent for low usage consumers, 28 per cent for medium usage and by 32 per cent for the heaviest users.
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