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Infographic: The AT&T and Verizon Duopoly

Since 2006, phone bills have become 52% higher for the average subscriber. Some could point to the amount of data people are consuming and that carriers are having to constantly upgrade equipment to fulfill the needs of their customers or that rising costs in general are to blame or acquisitions and purchases of spectrum for that new network are the cause. After taking a peak at this newest infographic, you get a sense that the folks at The Simple Dollar are willing to bet that these rising costs have to do with what they are calling a “Duopoloy” in the wireless arena between AT&T and Verizon and nothing more. Check it out below. 

Via: The Simple Dollar

  • Taglogical

    I didn’t have a data plan on my cell phone prior to the Droid. Obviously, the avg will go up significantly as entire product lineups roll to smart phones which require data plans.

  • VZW Guy

    There are some inaccuracies on this info graph… I can only speak for the Verizon side because I work for a VZW retailer. 

    1: “Last year, Verizon made hundreds of millions charging $2 for the 0.02 kilobytes used every time iPhone users accidentally hit the key, ‘take me to the web'”

    – You can’t have an iPhone without a data package… there is no charge per use option. Minimum data plan is $30 for 2GB (outside of promo plans). As such there is no way this one is true. 

    2: “Common Verizon Mistake: You, like the average smartphone user, only end up using 1GB/monthly.  COST TO DOWNSIZE: Verizon charges smartphone subscribers up to $350 for terminating 24 mos. data contracts.”

    – Once again there are problems with this… You can drop your data plan at any time if you wish. Any customer can walk into my store with a used basic phone, or purchase one full retail, and have their number put on it to drop the data plan. The data feature is NOT contracted, only the service plan (voice plan/texting). The early termination fee is accurate, as that is the maximum cancellation fee for a contract that started with a smartphone. This fee goes down by $10/billing cycle while you have service. The ONLY time you will be charged this is when you decide to actually cancel your VZW contract. 

    Sidebar: On the limited support one… I have rarely waited more than 5 minutes to get a person on the line with VZW. They are always US call centers, and I have no problem getting my issue solved as both a dealer and a customer. 

    To everyone else fear mongering about VZW doing away with grandfathered data plans: I sincerely doubt this will happen. The 4G network costs far less than 3G does to supply 1GB of data, Big Red wants you to have your unlimited 4G phone… There is even a lovely 4G Unlimited tethering plan for $30 on top of your regular data plan if you are grandfathered in on unlimited data. I would not be surprised to see unlimited or more data offered again when a majority of the smartphone customer base is on 4G. 

  • s2000az

    Fyi, Verizon still offers unl data plans on smartphones on prepaid for 30 dollars a month.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399626132 Mike Broder

    technically speaking…if you’re already on 4g…and even if they eliminate unlimited plans…if you buy something full retail….you can keep it, since you’re not signing a new contract…

    i tend to buy the best phone available…and then when my contract is up…sell it and there ya go

  • Sspurlock1

    Some of us have no choice but use a single carrier.  Only Verizon is reliable at my home and work locations.  I have used every other carrier to no avail.  My company provides a Sprint phone to me and it is useless about 50% of the time.  AT&T and T-Mobile only service my required areas partially and are useless about 75% of the time.  So, in my case, it is either pay more for Verizon and get service that works or pay less and have service maybe half the time. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25419359 James De Angelis

    awesome

  • http://www.bozzysworld.com jbozzz

    This article is a joke. NO way for an iPhone to get charged $2 for accidentally accessing the web. iPhones require data plans. A brief web access would not incur a $2 charge. Joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iAreWillJ Wiil Juarez

    Actually Virgin Mobile’s $35/month for 300 minutes and Unlimited SMS/Data. Pretty happy with it. :3

  • Mikel61101

    3g- 2gb=$30,3gb=$40,4gb=$50,5gb=$50,6gb=$60,7gb=$70,8gb=$80,9and10gb=$80

    4g- 4gb=$30,5gb=$40,6gb-10gb=$50,11gb-20gb=$80These are correct numbers^^^^

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XBKPWPYFJFKPRFB77EPVEIZVZ4 m

    employee discounts, unlimited data and coverage almost everywhere….went from sprint to t-mobile… the dreaded dead zones are real….not the case with vzw!

  • wastry

    The reason AT&T and VZW are on top is because they get the best phones and have the fastest, most reliable data speeds and calls quality.  They’re earned their place at the top through having a better service than T-Mo or Sprint, who’s only selling pt is their affordability (newsflash: you get what you pay for)

    • Ken_P_619

      How do you expect competition to reach Big Red and Big Blue? The reason they have the fastest and most reliable is because they have 65% of the customers pumping money into their system.  Sprint, Tmo, anybody could get that big if customers actually flocked to them. But the more we succumb to Big Red and Big Blue, the less of a chance of actual competition.  VZW was not always this reliable. When it was VZW vs Cingular, VZW wasn’t that much better. You can only hope Sprint, Tmo, etc have a chance to get as big as VZW and ATT so that we the customers have options which help drive prices down.

  • Dom Suppa

    I make sure I use up ALL of my data each month, even if it means streaming netflix and not even watching it

  • You’re all idiots

    I can’t stand how often people on this board run to the side of the cell companies for no reason. To that “Oh my phone does 500% more so 50% hike is all thumbs up by me” moron: Are you serious? Moores law states CPU power doubles every 2 years. The cell companies pay nothing for technology to increase. Its the law of the land. Over in Europe a $30 cell bill that comes with unlimited internet, text, and minutes is STANDARD. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

      cell phone bills went up 52% because ppl started adding data which pretty much doubled the price.  Europe might include internet for free, but contracts last 3 yrs and the phones (i think) are more money than we pay.  Kind of a wash

  • http://www.facebook.com/ctmorris Chris Morris

    So many flaws in this. 

  • Keii Graham

    I just want to know why my data has an expiration date. Data doesn’t go bad.

  • djembeman

    So, in 2006 how many cell phone users had any data plan at all??? Maybe blackberry users who’s companies paid the bill. But now almost everyone has to pay for a data plan of some sort and for each phone line. Nobody should be shocked that in the past 6 years cell phone bills are higher. When my wife and I upgraded to Android phones our bill went up $60 per month! We could have opted to upgrade to a no data plan phone, but it was our choice. I agree with everyone who has said that there needs to be some fact checking in this article.

  • leimeisei

    “every time iPhone users accidentally hit the key ‘take me to the web'”…
    And this is where on an iPhone, exactly? Also since iPhone users are required to have a data plan… Someone should fact check this info graphic..

    • harryharry

      Yeah.  I was thinking the same thing.

  • Brian Johnson

    Running a Galaxy S flashed
    to Boost. 50 cents/day unlimited 3G (and unlimited txt via google
    voice, would be unlimited minutes too if Sprint’s data network had
    better latency). My bill is a max $15/month, but I only need the
    service sparingly (work from home, have a secondary prepaid dumb-phone
    for quick outings, 5 cents min/txt). So my actual bill has been
    $1-3/month lately. Spending the minimum $10 every 90 days to keep
    Boost service is my only concern.

    GV rings my landline & both cells, very convenient. Landline is also free (obihai).

  • Persiandeity

    Anybody else notice that it says Vzw charged $1.99 to iPhone users who accidentialy hit the web key? Thought iPhones required data therefore no $1.99 Fee for using the web… way to fill space by wrongfully saying Vzw made millions last year from iPhone users…

    • djembeman

      Excellent point. Unless they are referring to people who were going past their data cap.

      • Hornet

         The overage rate on a 2gb data plan is $10/gb not $1.99/mb.  They must have “accidentally” typed iPhone in there

    • PanicsWhenUbered

      They probably meant to say “feature phone” users. Every smartphone on VZW requires a smartphone data plan now.

  • LTE4G

    Who wrote this dribble?
    iPhone users charged for 0.02 kb? iPhone subscribers are required to add data plans… that cover 2GB typically… or more… 

    $350 to downsize on vzw, no… just buy a cheap phone $50 on ebay and use a non smart phone no fee there… 

    What’s wrong with 30 call centers for 90 Million customers? Shows most customers must be rather satisfied since the wait times are short~few minutes.

    While I do agree with AT&T being the worst carrier… The average bill is higher because:
    1.) People txt more so buy unl txt plans
    2.) People want to browse the web and do more with their devices, so they buy data plans
    DUH!!!

  • smellyfeet

    ATT service sux balls, and verizon rapes you on the price.  that’s about the jist of it.  

    • CapnShiner

       AT&T and Verizon both rape us on price. Verizon at least uses lube.

  • Cruz

    Petty sure it wasn’t $2 every time iPhone users went on the web

  • orion11100

    As soon as people are *forced* into buying service from any of these companies is the day you will have something to bitch about… until then quit crying about something you voluntarily agree to purchase. 

    • Ken_P_619

      Orion, you signed up for the $100 deductible insurance plan at the beginning of the year, but now it’s a $500 deductible..thanks for choosing our insurance voluntarily! 

      • orion11100

        Insurance can be cancelled at any point.. and shame on me for not keeping up to date on the changes… oh wait, you mean they actually sent me a letter outlining the new $500 deductible?.. wow, that’s actually good customer service. Actually, now that I think about it, I never even signed up for the insurance because the fine print (maybe you should read it) shows that there are no restrictions on the insurer from enacting higher deductibles whenever they darn well please. Oh, you bought it knowing that?… well shame on you.

  • Erick

    I kinda wonder if the cost of these smart phones aren’t hurting what they used to make as well…
    Say for instance, the phone you got for free or paid $100 for in 2005 only costed Verizon $100 to subsidize… fast forward to today, and the Droid you pay $200 for costs Verizon $3-400 to subsidize… I wonder if the lower upfront costs of getting a smart phone isn’t another incentive for Verizon to make it up while you’re stuck in your contract. (eg. $2 fee, $30 upgrade fee, no more new every two, etc…)

  • Jmyaer

    Thank god I jumped on a deal about a year ago and got my 2 Verizon phones unlimited data for $9.99 each per month

  • DaveTea

    $90? I wish. More like $140 for my unlimited data and however many minutes of voice I get. My company reimburses me though so I cant complain. Too much.

  • InvaderDJ

    Good graphic. Really shows that really, all U.S. carriers suck. Absolutely suck. It is shameful how bad they actually are when it comes to the consumer.

    But, there isn’t much choice. You can go with Sprint and T-Mobile which have horrible networks in a lot/most places or you can go with an MVNO which can only use a subset of those horrible networks.

    Really hope we get some competition soon, until then: I’m sticking with Verizon and my “unlimited” data plan until they mess up horribly. And when they do I’m going to ditch them to save money and just deal with the worse coverage.

  • RD

    silly infographic. the government restricts spectrum use and charges exorbitant licensing fees for usage. as a result, we have huge barriers to entry and limited competition. get government to open the spectrum and you’ll see prices come down

  • Ahku Droid

    Are those outlines Helghast from Killzone?

    • Apostrafee

      Rock em sockem robots

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGON2BMPN47RQSQDLMOZLFUMSY Steveomac

    I still have the unlimited data plan and I haven’t gone over 2gb thats even after nav and streaming and 4g stuff.

    • Jlmcc

      I drive alot so I use nav everyday and started streamin all day and 4g is always on too,, was surprised how much I ate up  lol

    • kixofmyg0t

       I’m almost at 6GB…..I never use nav. Heck my GPS is always off.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

      My girlfriend manages to use about 8GB per month ( I use around 2-3) She watches netflix a lot, and loves to stream over Google Music. I suspect her usage could be reduced considerably with the proper training on WiFI usage.. but she could really care less about that kind of thing. 

      • wastry

        Gotta train your bitch

  • Mark Wilk

    When Verizon drops the grandfathered customers and forces a tiered plan is when I drop Verizon. It really is the only thing that is keeping me with Big Red now. 

  • http://twitter.com/DodgingDonkey Ben

    While the article is interesting, Verizon has never charged $2/kilobyte to iPhone users as the article states. That is for feature phones, additionally it mentions Verizon having a $350 ETF if you cancel a data contract, but that’s not true, you can switch your data plan to a feature phone or anything else, you just can’t cancel that line of service. While I understand where they are coming from, (prices are a little too high) Some of the data could easily be misinterpreted.

    • Franklin

      actually there is the phone line and the data contract, you cannot end your data contract early without the $350 ETF. Sure you can change it, but only to another data package.

      • http://twitter.com/DodgingDonkey Ben

        That’s not true at all. I’ve worked at Verizon and you can very easily switch from your data phone to a “Basic” phone. No ETF.

      • http://twitter.com/MildlyAmbitious Donkey Dodger

        You’re wrong, sorry. Many times if people lost their data phone I would switch them to a backup feature phone. No ETF.

    • Zacharypt

      Also they fail to mention if one does choose to cancel that the $350 ETF prorates down $10 for each month service is held. 

      And just for my information since I am ignorant in this area, do any other carriers prorate down the ETF?

      • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

        As far as I know they all do. I suspect it is the law, as even Dish Network does and even the Devil is afraid of them. 

  • Jlmcc

    most I have ever used was just over half a giga month, till last month, topped 5 gig,figured I have unlimited might as well start streamin the music  lol

    • La2da

      You are truly the argument for abortion, Jim.

  • Klash

    One of the main things that pisses me off is that Text messaging is still $20 a month for unlimited. Something that hardly uses any data at all and is ancient technology. And yes i know there are free alternatives but its hard to get everyone you know to use those services. 

    • marcusmaximus04

      OK, so use google voice and let those people continue to get charged, while you use google voice texting for free.

    • Tim242

      I’ve been using Google Voice for all SMS on all 3 of my lines for the last 18 months.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

      Yep, I’ve been on Google Voice for years as well.. I could never go back to old school texting. The Voice web portal and chrome plugins are awesome for texting while at your PC instead of using your phone. Also, clicking a phone number on the web connects it to your phone… It’s how a modern service should operate…hell I’d even pay 20 dollars a month for it. 

      Although, no MMS is very annoying. Never knowing someone has been trying to send you one, and then having to explain to them they have to use another number for just those kinds of messages is a real hassle. 

  • Azndan4

    30$ for 2gb/mo is a rip off. 30$ for unlimited is OK. 

    • wastry

      5% of users use of 95% of the bandwidth; you can thank the people who stream youtube on their phone instead of their computer for the tiered data plans

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

    What people fail to realize is that a *lot* of those profits are going right back into upgrading the Verizon network infrastructure. It’s not all going into some head honcho’s pocket. You think upgrading all those towers to LTE is cheap?

    Now as for the AT&T users.. yeah you guys are just getting screwed lol.

    • Chuckers

      Sure Verizon is doing all of this network upgrading, but they are also implementing new fees AND reporting record profits. Its not all going into network upgrades, not even close. Try shareholder pockets.

      • Apostrafee

        And shouldn’t it? I thought they were in business to make money? Regardless Verizon is implementing fees that exist on other carriers already, are those fees BS? Yeah but eh what you gonna do? I’d rather pay fees and be able to make a phone call without worrying then pay fees and have crap service on an expired network

        • Chuckers

          They sure are in it for the money. And I understand that, capitalism at its best. I’m just rooting for the guy that will hopefully someday knock Verizon on its a$$ and remind them that its the loyal consumers who put them where they are and not the shareholders.

          • Calculatorwatch

            I hope that “capitalism at it’s best” was sarcastic. Seems to me more like capitalism at it’s worst.

            I always say the US wireless situation is almost exactly like the trusts between railroad companies in the early 1900’s. Where’s Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?

          • wastry

            VZW, and every other company in existence, isn’t in business for your benefit – it’s in business to make money for itself and the shareholders.  By providing better service, they draw in more customers and earn more money.

          • Josh Nichols

            Verizon always rates highest in customer satisfaction..

        • http://twitter.com/Justinwrites Justin True Anderson

          Except we’ve entered an era where unchecked profiteering has caused capitalism to fail globally, global environmental and political instability, and permanently derailed the american political system.  I think its fair to be grumpy when billionaires can’t give a little back.

          • smellyfeet

             STFU commie ‘tard.  go “occupy” a city park.

          • TC Infantino

            Well, we have the opinion from the shallow end of the gene pool now. 

          • Noyfb

            Heavy regulations are the only way capitalism can work. without them its complete chaos, just like what happened in ’08

          • CapnShiner

             I agree. IMHO, what started this whole recession/depression/whatever is greed and corruption. Politicians have always been greedy and corrupt but they finally went too far. They allowed too much money into the political system and it had a snowball effect. The laws started to change to favor the rich and exploit the poor. Regulation all but disappeared. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer, the middle class shrunk to almost nothing. Now what we’re left with is a broken system that can only be fixed by people who don’t want to fix it. The only way I can see anything actually changing is if the so-called 99% would actually get organized and use the democratic system to clean house in the government. It hasn’t happened because most of us are too lazy, stupid, and/or complacent to make the effort. The people who have tried to make an effort so far have been mostly nut jobs like the Tea Party movement or the Occupy Wall Street movement. We need something real with strong, intelligent leadership and a solid plan to accomplish this goal. We need a miracle.

          • wastry

            It was once said that chains are the only way a black man can behave himself; you’re not much different in this view than people were 200 yrs ago.

            Oppression is oppression, whether it’s on a man or a company run by men.  People who advocate more chains are always the same mindset, regardless of the time

          • wastry

            Aaaand, the pseudo intellectuals advocating lite socialism are starting to come out of the woodwork.  I knew the internet hasn’t changed

      • Tim242

        Ummm no. They reported net losses last quarter, mostly due to the iPhone subsidies.

        • PC_Tool

           If you have a link for that, I need it.  It’ll shut up some folks who, well…need shutting up.  ;-)

          • Ken_P_619

            Here’s a link…  http://androidandme.com/2012/01/news/verizon-posts-a-2-02-billion-loss-in-q4-iphone-sales-outpace-android/

            Verizon is making tons despite the iphone, without the $2 payment charge, without the $30 upgrade fee..all on top of having a $3.4 billion pension problem.

          • PC_Tool

            FTLA: “which Verizon and anyone else who carries the device sells at a loss”

            Ya know, they should really source statements like that.

            I’ve read many articles and seen multiple posters feeding the “iPhone costs carriers more to subsidize” and “carriers make more money per device on Android than on iPhone”…

            …and yet not a single one of these folks have ever posted a source for such a claim that isn’t merely making the same claim … without a source.

            If they want to start flame wars, more power to them, but wouldn’t it make sense to actually have some ammunition?

            (Disclosure: I own a Galaxy Nexus, 3 Fascinates, 2 LG Spectrums, a MacBook Pro, an HP desktop, and 2 Dell laptops…glean from this whatever bias you wish.)

          • Ken_P_619

             Here is another article that quotes cost analysts and Verizon CEO on how the iphone loses Verizon money.  Maybe this helps you.

            http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/01/how-verizon-losing-money-iphone/47765/#

          • PC_Tool

            Ugh…

            The CEO is not commenting on iPhone sales and revenue..he’s commenting on future LTE revenue.

            Did you even read it?

            The author’s commentary on the sales are not backed up anywhere with actual numbers and he even glosses over the whole pension bit…barely even mentioning it at the bottom.

            Where are the “iPhone sales revenue” vs. …”anything else” numbers for the carriers?  You;’d think…if this story we keep hearing were true…these numbers would be plastered everywhere, wouldn’t they?

          • Ken_P_619

            Not really…short of actually breaking down their P&L statements or sitting with their accounting department  you aren’t going to see actual numbers from this.  But what you are ignoring are the company’s leaders and third party analysts’ diagnosis of the problem. They owe nothing to you to show you their exact numbers.

          • PC_Tool

             They don’t “owe” anyone.  You are right. They don’t have to give anyone the breakdown.

            …but without it, no-one can knowledgeably claim what they are
            claiming….as there are simply no numbers to back those claims up with.

            …and that article doesn’t even come close.  Instead we get people
            posting, “Well, the CEO himself commented on it”…when he did
            absolutely nothing of the sort.  ;-)

        • Ken_P_619

          Why do you continue to use this argument..I thought we went over this already? They recorded a loss in Q4 of 2011, but overall they were 11% in RECORD gains for the entire year of 2011. 

          • Tim242

            And you think that is a bad thing? They are in business to turn a profit. They are not a charity. My point is that if they recorded 6 figure losses in a quarter, then they aren’t robbing us blind like some of you seem to think.

          • Ken_P_619

            I guess my point is just because they recorded a loss in Q4 doesn’t mean they aren’t making billions in profit..and if they are making that much without the additional fees/costs even implemented yet…why are we paying more? just to line their pockets?

          • Tim242

            Your logic makes no sense. If they recorded a $300,000,000 loss in q4, how do you figure they are making billions in the other 3 quarters to just line their pockets? It costs a lot to build a network, maintain a network, pay employees to run the company, and pay subsidies on phones. All other companies have charged upgrade fees for years. At least Verizon has something to show for it.

          • Ken_P_619

            You’re telling me you don’t understand how a company can claim a loss in Q4, but not make billions in profit from the actual year? They recorded 11% profit in 2011, but claimed a loss in Q4 of 2011…please tell me you understand how that works.

    • mustbepbs

      Well I guess they need to work harder with all of the recent LTE outages. I guess our money is going to good use.

    • qqq

      Right. I’m calling BS on this article. It says Verizon charged $2 to iPhone users who accidentally used the internet? Do these people not realize that smartphones require data plans? Consumer reports said 66 thousand people rated AT&T as the worst, that’s 0.02% of the 322.8 million wireless subscribers. Now obviously consumer reports didn’t ask them all but I’d like to see how many they actually asked. They said Verizon has 30 call centers for 90 million customers (didn’t they just say Verizon has 108 million customers earlier?). Call Verizon customer service, enter your cell number and press 0 three times. How long were you on hold for, 2 minutes maybe? They said that data caps are getting tighter, that’s funny because last year on Verizon I could only get 2GB for $30, now I can get 4GB for $30 with a 4g phone.

      There is a problem with the duopoly, and poorly reserched, half-assed articles like this will only make things worse.

      • Ferradinho

        I was going to say the exact same thing, there were a TON of inaccuracies in that article on top of what you mentioned. Users can drop from a smartphone to a basic phone at any time with no cost. I have no idea where they get the info for the data plans. Verizon doesn’t have a $55 or $65 data plan. And if you are on LTE it’s not just double at the $30 plan but you get 10GB @ $50 and 20GB @ $80. No one factors in the cost to build and maintain the network (and back-haul) when considering the amount of data use compared to a year or ago. And the MVNO’s don’t have their own networks that they invest in, they only have very limited roaming agreements. And a Sprint/T-Mobile still market unlimited data but how unlimited is it really when you are throttled down to 1x at 2GB. I’d rather pay a little extra on an reliable connection for what I use than drop to 1x speeds or not be able to use data where I need it.
        And seriously do people not remember how much cell service cost 10-15 years ago for voice only? And phone prices too how about the StarTAC that launched at $1000 or the iPhone that originally launched at $599 on contract.

  • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

    Is it really the duopoly?  (Which isn’t the right word for a 65% marketshare between them.)

    If you look at the FFC’s recent competition report, you’ll see that while in paragraph 390 (page 224) the US averaged a higher ARPU than most other countries (outside Japan and Canada), the US actually had the second least concentrated mobile market (paragraph 394, page 226), measured both by market share of top two companies and by Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, at least with the end of 2009 data.

    So according to the FCC, yes, the US is expensive for cellular access (though we get and use more voice minutes, because we don’t have caller pays), but the US is actually less concentrated than countries outside the UK.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

       Most other advanced countries are in the mid to high 70% for the market share of the top two wireless companies, according to the FCC report.

  • Ken_P_619

    No wonder Verizon/ATT make so much money, so many people here are willing to lay down so easily when they want to raise fees. Our phones do much more than they did in 2006, but the cost of technology also adjusts and compensates as time moves forward and new technology is made.  It’s the reason why it was super cheap to buy a desktop in the late 90’s for $1500, and now you can buy really decent desktops for $700 or even less! 

    The point of the article is that as Big Red and Big Blue dominate the marketplace the more they can charge us anything….like $2 payment fees or $30 upgrade fees, $30 data fees, etc. They even pay less for insurance because before the $5.99/mo I pay for my cell insurance used to cover the entire cost of my phone….now with the razr maxx I have to pay a $100 deductible.

    We definitely need to start seeing formidable competition in carriers and Sprint, Tmobile, Cricket, and even Metro PCS just aren’t doing it. 

    • Apostrafee

      Asurion is a different company across all carriers and is sort of a monopoly but really all insurances have deductibles….you crash your car, deductible….a hurricane hits your house and you have insurance for that, deductible….its the nature of the beast

      • Ken_P_619

        The difference is Verizon pays less into it even though they increase our fees. I’ve been pretty fashion forward when it comes to phones, and as a long time verizon customer, the insurance cost doesn’t change ($5.99/mo) but the amount of coverage I get does…and that is directly related on how much Verizon will pay into these insurance policies.  It’s like your employer…if they pay the higher insurance, my deductibles are less…if they skimp out and pay the lower insurance, my deductible is higher.  I am now at $100 deductible (from $0 deductible 5 years ago)…which means Verizon has opted to offer/pay for the lower insurance.

        Moral of the story, my phone bill continues to rise with misc fees and data plans, yet they are doing less for their customers.

        • Apostrafee

          The technology going into the network costs billions…and as for insurance the i*hone has more to do with that raise in price then most people think. It wasn’t until VZW got the i*hone NE2’s annual contracts, and annual upgrades went away along with unlimited data. And at the same time insurance rates went up…its pretty heinous actually

          • Ken_P_619

            Then i say charge the people causing the problem, don’t charge the masses for the issue of the few.  I didn’t buy an iphone, so don’t punish me with a fee, if the iphone truly is the problem.

    • Tim242

      There has always been an insurance deductible. Be glad you’re not on att. Their smartphone deductibles are $200-$300.

  • trumpet444

    glad i’m grandfathered into unlimited

  • Daniel Simpson

    I like how they act like Sprint is so cheap.  You can’t get a family plan below 1500 minutes with unlimited texting and data for 2 lines for around 160.00. 

    Meanwhile, i’m on Verizon on a 550 minute plan with unlimited data for two phones at 130.00.  

    Sprint will not go lower than what I’ve listed even though I’d like to leave Verizon, I just don’t want to pay 130.00 a month anymore.

  • http://www.scaryuncledevin.com/ Devin Rodriguez

    Let’s not forget how much Verizon has pushed on LTE expansion over the past year. I’m not paying any more now than I was a year ago, but now I have a phone that gets unlimited data on a high speed network that covers a large chunk of the US where I travel.

    • petrochemicals

      They just changed the upgrade fee to double what it used to be. You are paying more now than what you were a year ago.

      • http://www.scaryuncledevin.com/ Devin Rodriguez

        I’d like to know how I’m paying more when my contract prices have all stayed the same and I didn’t end up paying an upgrade fee. As a matter of fact when I got my Nexus I made the manager give me the $30 discount that I would have had from the new-every-2 program they canceled and then “stopped” before they were supposed to.

        • petrochemicals

          Sure you did. It’s amazing how no one ever pays what they are supposed to, as they always “get a deal”. I wonder how these companies make any money at all with so many people bucking the system.

          • http://www.scaryuncledevin.com/ Devin Rodriguez

            My receipt is at home in the box, I’ll take a picture for you when I get back. But even for the people who paid full price or more, if their contract pricing didn’t change, how are they paying more?

  • CounselorAPN

    Another article complaining about prices. Perhaps there should be an article at some point explaining supply and demand. Also a reminder that smartphone (or any phone) ownership is still optional in all 50 states.

  • Radgatt

    Interesting read…glad I am on unlimited data with Verizon for $30/month!!

    • capecodcarl

      The day Verizon ends my grandfathered unlimited data plan is the day I terminate my contract and move on to an MVNO and cut my bill in half.

      • R34skylinexvii

        Sprint or Cincy Bell for me if ever that happens for me!

        • Noyfb

          definitely will got to sprint if they kill my G-pa data

          • LiterofCola

            Yep

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/MV5FUN7JAVQSORLQBXO4SCFAWM Slainte

           Been on both of those in the past.  Dropped calls, poor coverage compared to VZW.  The wife had CBT for work and there were many spots in the burbs where she could not makereceive calls but had bars.  No thanks. 

      • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

        When it happens (because we all know it’s simply a matter of time) I’ll be moving back to Sprint.

        • http://twitter.com/MAVIS_WILMER MAVIS_WILMER

          @Conan_Kudo:disqus my ċlassmate’s sister makes $61/hour on the internet. She has been unemṗloyed for five months but laṡt month her income was $21156 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here.. http://nipp.me/ea4

    • Marcus Schoen

      If your stuck with unlimited data, you better have a phone youre proud of, like me, a Droid X running Gingerbread (Stock everything)

      • https://plus.google.com/104038709432067945998/posts Wyatt Beougher

        Why? I upgraded from my OG Droid with unlimited data to a Droid RAZR with unlimited data and it didn’t effect my grandfathered in plan…

      • CheeseMcGee

        Not necessarily.  I just bought a Galaxy Nexus off Craigslist to upgrade my Unlimited Data Thunderbolt, and it didn’t affect my plan.

        • Xlinn

          u still have that thunderbolt?

          • CheeseMcGee

            I do indeed have it, until I sell it.  Interested?

          • Xlinn

            yes

          • CheeseMcGee

            Email me – ryunforsman AT gmail DOT com and I’ll send you info and photos.

          • http://twitter.com/bipolarbear187 Robert Benson

            I have a Thunderbolt until tomorrow!  Jumped on the Amazon deal for the Nexus last night…

          • CheeseMcGee

            It’s a beautiful thing!  Can’t put it down – haven’t felt this way about a phone since my OG!

          • Xlinn

            want to sell it?

      • Kiska

        The Droid X is a terrible phone… so it any other phone that is made by Motorola.

        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          Disagree.  My D4 is amazing.  And my rooted D1 running Cy was a god for its lifespan.

        • truename

          Razr Maxx is awesome. Your mileage may vary :-)

        • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

          i think the x was better than the x2 and besides it is an old phone spec wise now, it was totally solid

      • Radgatt

        Galaxy Nexus on Verizon is what Im using…as long as i can keep upgrading phones while keeping the same plan i will continue to do so. If i cant do that any longer than i will figure something else out.

      • Brandon Rush

        At this point you keep your unlimited plan for as long as you have a smartphone.

    • Drtechy

      Yup me too, but like others have said if VZW ever gets rid of it I’m going elsewhere, even though VZW has the best network, I don’t like be limited on my data. 

  • Bionic

    You get what you pay for.  Yes Sprint has great pricing but they have very little LTE coverage and they always get the good phones many months later than Verizon.  Im sticking with Verizon thank you.  

  • Tcal

    Wait, I thought both T-mobile & Virgin Mobile throttled/discouraged data usage at 2 Gb?

    • Chuckers

      Throttled yes, but it has the advantage of still being classified as unlimited

  • victor manso

    Because att is suck(everybody know it)  the best way to solve the problem it that att despair so the 31.2 % of subscribers will going to others providers , at the same time Verizon will low the prices because they don’t have a lot competition LOL XD

    • Chuckers

      Apart from your terrible english, you mean Verizon will raise prices. Less competition means higher prices, any economics resource will tell you that.

      • victor manso

        I commented just for fun, I really sorry :(, I am conscious that my English is horrible, I’m just trying to learning it correctly because English is my second language . Finally your analysis is absolutely true !

    • CORYK333

      So. Much. Wrong. Hurts. My. Head.

      • CounselorAPN

        GO GUNNERS!

      • Azndan4

         stop using numbers to represent letters. its retarded.

        • CORYK333

          What??? Where is there a # in my post?? Learn to read, clown.

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    There’s a lot of sensationalism going on here :P

  • angermeans

    Wow the average annual cell phone bill is up over 50% since 2006! Give me a break. Of course it is! We have smartphones now and the phones we use cost more to operate. Talk about comparing apples to oranges. If people can’t afford it then be smart and don’t get ya the top of the line smartphone.

    • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

      Exactly! A 50% increase is peanuts considering that phones now do probably 500% as much. Tiered data sucks but $90/month is a bargain for all that we can do with our phones.

      • Chuckers

        There isn’t a single piece of logic that says price of our phone bill must be relative to what the phone can do. Verizon/AT&T must love you. You’re happy paying anything less than +500% what you paid in 2006 thinking you’re getting a deal.

        Technology advancements, bandwidth improvements, fiber optics have opened networks up to handle more and more data on an exponential scale. Why are unlimited data plans going by the wayside then if not for profitable motives?

        • Justin Hunt

          Exactly what I was thinking when I read that mess.

          • jason6g

             remember back in the day, even not that long ago to the nokia brick phone? what did those cost, and they did “a lot” for the times, it had a calendar, snake, ringtones, texting, calling and those plans were a joke back then. now yea phones do more, so does my computer, tv, gaming console, fridge, etc yet i dont see a hike in those fees. my internet has been the same speed (30mbps) for the past id say 4-5 years, and has stayed the same, even though my usage has gone through the roof numreous times. i think im up to 200gb usage on that per month. tv doesnt really count in m mind as thats more content based and i view that as premium – not necessity for service to work, so my basic cable has been the same for the past 4-5 years at least as well. yet my cell phone went from $50 the same time ago for unlimited web & text – with i think 1000 minutes, to my now family plan for two lines at $200 a month for 700 minutes, unl text & web. So yea, i get that the phones are capable of more, but same network (for verizon in this area at least, as no 4g), same service, same speeds, same limits, yet more cost.

            that being said, i know i will be flamed, but i get the business of it. its in demmand, they can only supply so much, limited worthwhile competition, i get it. but the after sales service is what really gets me. the two top tier providers have gone down hill in the service mark in my opinion. why is it more of a pain to get a replacement? some time ago, id go to a store, get a new phone, not a refurb, in a box, with a charger, manual and all that good stuff and be on my way. that was still somewhat available when i got my first droid, but it didnt seem like the norm. then i got the incredible, and it was refurb only for replacements, wasnt too bad as they still worked. then the thunderbolt. went through 8 of those refurbs for the screens getting the right most 1/4-1/2″ of a dead zone – and my phone sits on a desk all day – litterally – its not nearly “used” like my phones used to be. and i go in to get a different phone, or a new phone, or something that works for more than a few weeks, and there is noone but some salesman who doesnt want to waste time on a non commision sale, and no options other than some crap replacement, but since its the screen i now get shoved off to insurance but phone support even though there is no actual damage. eventualy ya just get another refurb and are stuck wondering what youre paying for remembering the good ol days when ya complained about a $50 more than you could use plan lol

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          On the contrary, there isn’t a single piece of logic in your reply. More features, more cost. Compare phone service as minute plans, or off plan, against older plans. Prices have gone down considerably, even in this tiny 6 year window. Maybe they should make it a 20 year window to tell an even better story…. the days where your local service was just that, local… and roaming occurred outside of an exceptionally small geographical area…. and at insanely high rates that make current international roaming rates an incredible bargain.

          I guess you’ve never had a cell phone plan that didn’t include any minutes or free nights and weekends. There was all kinds of competition then…. and it came with 3000 dollar phones and 1000 dollar monthly bills. Consolidation in the industry caused lower prices and free roaming. And there’s no texting or data to obscure your results… just phone service vs phone service.

          Why did roaming go by the wayside if not for economies of scale?

          • Chuckers

            Expanding on your point would include the consolidation of information networks, coupled with exponential bandwidth growth. The departure of unlimited data is counter to this trend and so therefore we look for factors that would cause such an anomaly. Care to offer up any factors other than the bottom line?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            It’s quite simple, actually. Bandwidth growth lies in wired services. Cellular relies on air spectrum before it hits wired transmissions. Air spectrum is an already finite resource that is spread across far too many players on what should be a public utility like your power or water company. More people today are consuming that finite resource in larger quantities. As with gasoline prices in the summer months, when more people consume larger amounts of finite resources, prices go up. Laws of supply and demand are a factor.

            Further, even with the lack of “unlimited” data – which has never existed as anything more than a marketing term on wireless carriers – the price per Kb of data is exponentially lower than it was when the first data networks were available on 1x, GPRS and iDen.

          • CapnShiner

             You’re forgetting that this relativity exists on both sides of the business. The roaming rates were higher because it cost the carriers more money to operate the networks and to support additional users from other carriers roaming on their towers. The costs to the carriers for roaming have decreased thanks to technological advancements and improved manufacturing efficiency. The rates for consumers should have decreased on the exact same scale. I bet that’s not the case.

            There are lots of features that have become standard, like domestic roaming, domestic long distance, and unlimited nights and weekends. This is all built into the monthly calling plan rates and those have not changed much in several years. However, I am sure that those features don’t cost nearly as much to support as they did several years ago. That is where the profit margin exists.

            Lets use cars as an analogy. Some features have become standard over the years, like airbags, anti-lock brakes, CD players, cruise control, power windows and locks, and keyless entry. Has the average base price of a car increased by 50% in 6 years?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            Data and texting are still extras. Since 30% of consumers now use smartphones, and virtually everybody texts, that’s anywhere from 20-50 dollars extra per month that’s included in the bill. Your car analogy is terrible. These are NOT standard features, they are common features. Like adding aluminum wheels to the car and a moonroof, instead of steel wheels and no moonroof. It costs extra to do that.

            It’s like your cable company offering telephone and internet services. They are extras. The fact that a vast majority of people use them means that the price increase over time will artificially inflate beyond normal rates because those are now included in the total. Instead of cable tv rate vs cable tv rate… it’s a question of cable tv rates vs cable + phone + internet rates… or in this situation, a cellular minute plan vs a cellular minute plan + texting plan + data plan. Of course when you add in the extras you’ll have a 50% increase… and that it’s only 50% should tell a huge story… because unlimited texting being 20 bucks, and data being 30 bucks… that’s 50 dollars total, more than a 100% increase over the current lowest, most common rate plans at 40 dollars.

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            oh… and let’s not forget that air bags are government mandated to be included… and not all cars come with cruise, keyless entry or power windows/locks – look to small cars and all kinds of trucks, not standard… but every single vehicle is pre-wired for those 4 things, and they do charge you to hook it up, compared to what you can do yourself with a screwdriver, a little bit of strength, and cheap parts from the auto store.  It’d cost about 50 dollars to hook those up yourself, instead of the 500 or so they’ll quote you at.

        • wastry

          So you really think that prices can stay the same when productivity increases?  A horse-drawn cart can be bought for cheaper than a car, but the car, which is more expensive, can do much more and take you places much faster. The price accounts for not only cost, but productivity gains as well

          You can bark all day about fiber optics, but if you ever opened the business section of a newspaper instead of these retarded blogs, you’d know that VZW is the ONLY company who’s spending billions of dollars laying down fiber optic lines across the nation.

          It’s young little fools like you that spout off at the mouth, but don’t remember paying $2,000 for a car phone, and paying $10/min for the privilege of being able to make calls while riding along. You’re too young to know how much cheaper data plans and voice plans have gotten, yet you still complain like a spoiled brat

      • Keitsmnr

        Well, obviously you don’t mind throwing your peanuts away, I like to keep mine.

        let me ask you, do you live with your parents or on your own? Do you pay for your own rent, food, gas/heat, electric, and water?

        • http://twitter.com/garagelogician Jeff C

          I’m 31 years old, own a house and pay all my bills. I don’t need the government (particularly Holder and the DOJ) to be my Daddy by sticking it to those evil greedy cell phone companies.

          Thanks for playing.

      • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

        It’s not like smartphones were invented by ATT and Verizon. If it wasn’t for Apple and Google we’d be paying $15/month to Verizon for subscription to crappy email app on a crappy clamshell phone with buttons.

      • CapnShiner

         You’re trying to justify the cost of the service with capabilities of the device. Your logic is flawed. From 2006 to 2011, Verizon’s network capabilities were the same old 3G EVDO. Not until LTE went live did the capability of the network change in a significant way. Yet the price still increased by 50%. I’ll attribute some of that to inflation and a tiny bit to include the one or two years of LTE rollout, but it’s still a huge increase in price and very little increase in value. This 50% increase in price is not, to my knowledge, including the cost of the device(phone). Generally, the capabilities of a device are relative to its price. Therefore, if you claim that our phones now do 500% as much compared to phones in 2006, the price of the phones should have increased by 50% rather than the price of the service. I know the capabilities of our phones have increased over the years but so have their prices. In 2006, I don’t think any phone had a subsidized price over $200. Now, there are phones with subsidized prices of $300 or more and that’s not even including the i*hone. So if the cost to the carrier of the more advanced device is covered in its price to the consumer, how is that 50% increase in the service price justified?

      • Zachary Manville

        90/mo is f*cking rediculous. Im have my ipad for searching the web wherever there is wifi, so Im switching back to a dumb phonne as soon as i can drop my data plan.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

      It is a fair comparison. Cell phone plans haven’t changed in feature sets all that much since 2006. The only major changes were the elimination of long distance charges and unlimited data plans. Long distance charges were eliminated along with the transition to national footprint plans over regional ones. When the iPhone came around, Cingular chose to make it mandatory to have a data plan with a smart device. Everyone else followed. Then, AT&T and Verizon made tethering a separate feature that you have to purchase. After that, AT&T and Verizon switched over to tiered plans.

      Cell phone bills include the same amount for subsidy that they did in 2006. The only thing that has changed is how much people pay up front for a cell phone now. The only major way for cell phone bills to go down now is to eliminate phone subsidies, but that won’t happen until Verizon and AT&T decide to stop paying those subsidies (which they probably won’t).

  • FortitudineVincimus

    And they ask.. “and what are you going to do about it?”