America’s Wireless Service Prices Are 5–20 Times More Expensive than Overseas. Why?

Bruce Kushnick
3 min readJan 30, 2021


  • Overseas, wireless “truly unlimited” means over 1000 GB for $35 bucks.
  • US big “unlimited” plans are just deceptive and are capped, usually 50 GB.
  • On these plans, America has been overcharged over $50 a month.
  • Price per GB for unlimited plans in America $1.65; Overseas it is 7 cents.

AT&T, Verizon and the other wireless carriers, with the help of the FCC, have not only figured out how to keep prices for wireless services ‘hyper-overcharged’ as compared to most of the rest of the world, but it uses deceptive advertising, nomenclature, and the distortion of words to claim that they are offering “unlimited” services.

Outrageous Wireless Prices for Service in America

Rewheel Research, a telecom research and consulting firm, has done extensive analyses on the pricing and services of 4G and 5G wireless. This next chart shows the amount of GB that a customer can get for 30 Euros.

21 countries have ‘truly unlimited’ for 30 Euros or less; (With an exchange rate of 1 Euro = $1.18 US Dollars, that’s about $35 bucks.)

NOTE: The 1000 GB is not the top limit; it is just a placeholder as the customer can use more as it is ‘Truly Unlimited’.

Rewheel, 2nd Quarter, 2020 found that:

  • The monthly price for 5G mobile broadband was about $35 dollars; 4G was half that, about $17.00 and the unlimited plans, with over 1000 GB, came to $27 for 4G and $43 for 5G.

In America:

  • The basic unlimited plans come with only 50GB and costs about $70–90, (though there are discounts for multiple lines)

Low Volume Users Really Get Truly Hosed.

It gets a lot worse when we examine the low volume customer. In a previous analysis we pointed to Verizon’s lower volume services:

  • $35.00 ‘prepaid’ service with 5 GB, comes to $7.00 per GB.
  • $55.00 ‘metered’, non-unlimited service with 5 GB is $11.00 a GB.
  • ‘Data Boost’ to add 1 GB is $15.00.
  • Low volume per GB average was $9.00, not counting taxes, fees and surcharges.
  • ALWAYS ROUNDED UP: Talk about a shell game; why is America paying for a ‘full GB’ when they may use a fraction of their plan allowance. If the ‘Data Boost’ for 1 GB is $15.00, if the customer uses 1/2 — why will they still pay the full freight?

The Price Per GB Should Offend America.

The opening chart summarizes that the median price per GB for 4G was about 6 cents up to 8.3 cents for 5G unlimited, with an overall average of 7 cents..

Based on an average of Verizon’s advertised price and the fine print caveats and comparing this ‘average’ with the Rewheel EU prices:

  • Verizon’s average price per GB for unlimited came to 2,256% more than the EU average price.
  • Verizon’s average price for these plans are $1.65 per GB vs $.07 cents.

US Overcharge for Wireless:

  • Verizon’s monthly overcharge of the plan fees are $51.58 a month, coming to $619.00 a year
  • The average EU pricing, including ‘truly’ unlimited, was $32.92 vs Verizon’s $82.50 (and this does not include the various taxes, made up fees and surcharges added to the Verizon bills).
  • The ‘truly limited’ plans supply over 1000GB per month;
  • Verizon’s fake unlimited is usually 50 GB.
  • If you wanted 1000GB (which is not even available), you would be paying $1700.00 a month.

This is the 3rd article in the series.



Bruce Kushnick

New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.