NEW YORK — Americans pay more for their cell service than Europeans, but they’re getting a lot more use out of their phones, a global wireless trade group said Wednesday.
U.S. consumers talk five times as much as Europeans on their cellphones and use twice as much data, GSM Association reported.
AT&T and Verizon Wireless also have the lead in introducing the latest technology, which means average data downloads are 75 percent faster in the U.S., the GSMA found.
Europe led the world in wireless technology a decade ago, pioneering the shift from analog phone networks to digital backbones. But it has lagged behind as cellphones have become data devices, the GSMA said.
The trade group said European carriers are lagging because they’re smaller, meaning they can’t capture savings from efficiencies the way U.S. carriers can. In the U.S., the allocation of space on the airwaves is controlled by the federal government, but each of the 27 European Union countries controls its own radio spectrum, making it difficult to coordinate across borders.
Americans paid an average of $69 per month last year for service, compared with $38 in the EU, the study found. For their fees, Americans got 901 minutes of calls and 480 megabytes of data traffic, compared with Europeans’ 170 minutes of calls and 273 megabytes of data.
Although increased use of data-intensive devices is encouraging Americans to pay and consume more, Europeans are cutting back. The higher monthly fees in the U.S. encourage investment in networks, the study found.