American Wireless Companies Are Ripping Off LTE Customers, Study Finds

4G LTE mobile data service in the United States is overpriced compared to every other country in the world. A new study conducted by the research arm of the GSM Association, an agency that represents mobile operators, examined the LTE service rates in the United States and several European countries.

The agency found that data policies among several major American carriers, along with a lack of competition, is driving up costs far beyond what European customers pay.

According to the study, Verizon Wireless is the leader in LTE charges, forcing customers to pay $7.50 per gigabyte for providing 4G LTE network connectivity. In comparison, European customers on average pay $2.50 per gigabyte. Swedish customers fair the best at 63 cents per gigabyte.

The GSM association notes that American companies, in an attempt to make their packages appear more appealing, bundle their data packages with other services. In comparison, many European customers simply purchase mobile data without the mobile calling or text messaging requirement.

Realizing they could earn more money by charging obscene amounts of money for mobile data, American carriers phased out their unlimited data packages in favor of high priced bundled plans.

The study points out that 4G LTE is partially more expensive in the United States because there is a lack of competition. While Verizon and AT&T dominate most of the 4G LTE market, there are 38 wireless carriers in Europe. Further cutting costs in Europe is the ability for customers to purchase LTE on a pay-as-you-go basis thanks to services provided by virtual network operators.