Verizon Wireless, the number one U.S. mobile carrier, unveiled their new pre-paid mobile options recently.’a0 While American mobile data seekers might be happy to find an option to get online sans a multi-year contract, some perspective is needed in this case.
With Verizon’s new pre-paid mobile data option, customers must first by a $130 EVDO USB modem in order to first access Verizon’s reliable and speedy EVDO data network.’a0 Then, Verizon charges you according to the following schemes:
- Daily: rates are $15 for 75MB (20 cents a MB)
- Weekly: rates are $30 for 250MB (12 cents a MB)
- Monthly: $50 for 500 MB (10 cents a MB)
So, for the ability to get online wherever you happen to get a cell phone signal, you look at paying quite a bit.
For comparison, I pulled up some data from 3, a UK-based 3G mobile provider.’a0 On 3 UK’s site, I see that for a mere ‘a329.99 (roughly USD $50) , you can get 1GB of data for use in your mobile computer.’a0 This includes the dongle and bandwidth – unlike Verizon where these items must be purchased separately and at much higher costs.
The point here is that the US mobile market is vastly more expensive than the UK equivalent, especially with regards to mobile data.’a0 It should also be noted that the US only has 4 major nationwide carriers and, in my opinion, collusion is driving up prices to be way too high.
Perhaps with more market forces driving prices lower, these extraordinarily consumer unfriendly practices will soon be a thing of the past.’a0 I hope so, as a US-based mobile customer.