One of the costly monthly expenses for most households in America is their cellular phone bill. The CTIA Wireless Association estimates that average cell phone bill was $47 in 2012 but many individuals pay double that amount. The CTIA figures do not factor in the costs of handsets or choices for “reasonable” plans
Smart phone consumers comprise 46% of the market (including 66% of youths aged 21-30). The CTIA figures do not factor in the costs of handsets or choices for “reasonable” plans. So there may be a low cost plan, but if one is required to carry a data package, monthly costs precipitously increase.
Another reality is that the most of the major American cellular carriers push subsidized phones with strict two year agreements. Few cellular consumers consider the overall costs incurred with such a subsidized cell phone contract.
Tero Kuittinen, an independent market analyst from Alekstra, notes: "That psychology has worked for hundreds of years, and it’s still working.” Another factor to consider is the attachment that many people feel toward their cellular purchases. [***] It seems akin to the mentality which drives new car purchases that customers will overspend to get that “new car smell” for a durable that loses 20% immediately after purchase.
T-Mobile took the lead among cell providers in weaning prospective customers from the subsidized cell phone model with their Simple Choice plan. But an alternate model which T-Mobile innovated but had more success in competitors emulating is the “Next, Edge, Jump” and “OneUp”.
Yet, cell phone services are not fungible. Aside from the handset cost, choice of carriers are impacted by coverage. An inexpensive plan is worthless if one does not get range in one’s preferred calling area. Verizon Wireless has the best coverage but people pay a premium for the extensive coverage. But most customers may not need such extensive range.
Cost conscious consumers should know that they can cut their cellular costs in half (or more), by using Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), pre-paid cell plans and fremium cell providers like FreedomPop. But the reality is that according to Ovum, only 23% of cellular customer have opted for such frugal mobile phone service.
As MNVOs and the ilk do not have the deep pockets for advertising, they have a dubious reputation.
Usually, second tier cellular carriers offer less current handsets. Even though these cell phones may only have been on the market for six months, finicky consumers turn their noses at these out of data handsets.
In another phase of its Un-carrier campaign, T-Mobile tried to wreck the international roaming racket. T-Mobile stopped charging more for international text for Simple Choice customers when sending to 100+ countries. Calls to Simple Global countries aside from the US are at $0.20 a minute. Most importantly, there is no outrageous international data roaming charges at standard speeds. However there are some caveats to this International Roaming largesse.
As America enters harder economic times, more consumers may try to beat the high cost of living by answering the call to cheaper cellular services.
SEE MORE at DCBarroco.com