03-12-2013 08:26 AM
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  1. darkoman4's Avatar
    There is also one thing that should be taken in consideration when talking differences between Europe and US. US is a huge country with not many people living per square mile, and to cover this huge territory with wireless signal, costs a lot. Not many companies are that big and wealthy to be able to do just that, therefore they invest much more money to cover such a country then say Switzerland. They should charge more, no question about it.
    LeLee092 likes this.
    03-10-2013 11:21 AM
  2. Rich White's Avatar
    The carriers were able to justify 2 year agreements as they were building out the Networks.

    T-Mobile is now "European". Buy your phone, choose a finance contract term for the phone, and choose a subscription plan separately. They bought MetroPCS and will do well with the model of bring your own phone and either subscription or prepaid monthly,

    ATT and T-Mobile phones work on the same network protocols. I expect to see more willingness on ATT to support unlocking of prepaid purchased phones..

    Denmark is about the size of Southern New England (Mass, Rhode Island and CT) in total land mass. We are talking about US states where carriers have different deals in each state of the US for erecting towers, etc. It's a complex decentralized mess that somehow passes as a national network. This was one of President Obama's initiatives that died a death--streamlining the system and guaranteeing rural access. Usually a state forces the carrier to build out in rural areas each time they go to the board to make improvements. Otherwise they cherry pick the most profitable and densely populated areas of the state to host cell towers.

    If you want to talk about cell access in Northern Greenland and compare that to some rural areas of Maine or Texas then we get some different comparisons. Occasionally in the US the government and carriers need to sit down and do some central planning. OTOH the US is adopting 4G by leaps and bounds and remains in the top 10 for penetration and speed and that's with minimal Federal involvement. In 10 years the issue will still be data limits unless the government mandates WiFI hotspot penetration for the carriers. That's next.
    03-10-2013 11:23 AM
  3. Huime's Avatar
    I prefer buying the phone full price that getting it for cheap and having to sign a two year contract.Once you sign that contract you are ****ed up.Cause if you break it you have to pay fees and if you stay at the end of the two years you end up paying for the price of your phone like 4 or 5 times. I don't know why people still falling for contracts.If you want a device and don't have the money right away don't sign a contract. Save until you have it to buy it full price. If you can pay $60 or even more for a monthly phone bill then you can save $500 to $700 in no time to buy a phone full price.In the long run you will be saving a lot.
    Not sure how you see it as 4-5 times, take Iphone for example, within 6 months of the release market price is around 750-700. Say 60/mo with that 40 for the market value of service and 20 for the phone monthly. You put down $199 down payment and take a loan of $550. After a standard 24 mo you paid around $560 for the phone, which is about 2% apr, not that bad as 4-5 times.
    03-10-2013 11:39 AM
  4. mrmdj31675's Avatar
    Also have in mind that CDMA counts for nearly 2/3 of the total cellphone lines in the US when combining all lines on prepaid and postpaid carriers (regional and national, GSM and CDMA).
    03-10-2013 01:20 PM
  5. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    They do it cos they don't really have much options.

    They get the phones for cheap. What you and me pay 600 for, they pay 0-200$, but have to make that 2 year contract. Now, they could just buy the phone unlocked, but they would still be stuck with the crazy carrier prices. I dunno where you are from, but what the average US customer pays 100$/month for, I pay 10-15/month. The carriers totally rip off people around there and since they all do it, buying unlocked hardly helps cos you still pay your *** off for one of the carriers. So to minimize their losses with the crazy carrier prices, better get the phone cheap through the 2 year contract.
    The main reason is that we don't save any money whether we pay full retail or get a contract if we use a major carrier like AT&T, VZW or Sprint. The monthly fees are the same whether one has a contract or not. For instance, I went 11 months without a contract, since my contract expired and I waited until I upgraded to a new device. During those 11 months, my bill wasn't any cheaper. The monthly bill also stayed the same once I started a new contract.
    LeLee092 likes this.
    03-10-2013 01:25 PM
  6. Mystictrust's Avatar
    The main reason is that we don't save any money whether we pay full retail or get a contract if we use a major carrier like AT&T, VZW or Sprint. The monthly fees are the same whether one has a contract or not. For instance, I went 11 months without a contract, since my contract expired and I waited until I upgraded to a new device. During those 11 months, my bill wasn't any cheaper. The monthly bill also stayed the same once I started a new contract.
    Except for with T-Mobile and their value plans, which seem to be $20/month cheaper than subsidized phone Classic plans if you're not adding in the monthly phone payments (or you paid full price up front). With the substantial rumor that T-Mobile is doing away with phone subsidies and turning to the "low money down (under $99) + monthly payments" model for everything (including cheap plans), they might change the face of wireless in the US for everyone. Sprint is said to be watching to see how well T-Mobile's no subsidy thing goes.

    Then again, knowing US carriers, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T and Verizon mucked it up by eliminating subsidies but keeping high priced rate plans with no change. *sigh*
    LeLee092 likes this.
    03-10-2013 01:49 PM
  7. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Except for with T-Mobile and their value plans, which seem to be $20/month cheaper than subsidized phone Classic plans if you're not adding in the monthly phone payments (or you paid full price up front). With the substantial rumor that T-Mobile is doing away with phone subsidies and turning to the "low money down under $99 + monthly payments" model for everything (including cheap plans), they might change the face of wireless in the US for everyone. Sprint is said to be watching to see how well T-Mobile's no subsidy thing goes.

    Then again, knowing US carriers, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T and Verizon mucked it up by eliminating subsidies but keeping high priced rate plans with no change. *sigh*
    That's true. T-Mobile is not an option for me, since they have crummy coverage where I live. If I want fast speeds, AT&T or VZW are my only options.
    03-10-2013 01:52 PM
  8. Dustin Hodges's Avatar
    Also have in mind that CDMA counts for nearly 2/3 of the total cellphone lines in the US when combining all lines on prepaid and postpaid carriers (regional and national, GSM and CDMA).
    This is mainly due to signal. In more rural areas (such as where I live) ive had friends and family on both T-Mobile AND Att (Me myself am on a prepaid Tmo plan.), and they didn't get jack didly squat as far as speed and coverage is concerned, Now there is 4G and im getting 2G in a number of places. But where im getting minimal 2G coverage, my father on Verizon is getting a full 5 bars of 4G data.

    CDMA accounts for most because of signal. From what ive both read and heard, Tmobile is the best on the coasts (east, west) and in your "major us cities", but get into central usa (which is a big chunk of usa) and rural areas, and then you don't see gsm holding out as much. Sure, att is better than TMobile in that department, but that's because they own most the spectrum that those 2 use, leaving T-Mobile with measly bands only fit for 2G/EDGE.
    03-10-2013 03:52 PM
  9. mrmdj31675's Avatar
    That is in great part, but also being much easier to maintain a CDMA network compared to a GSM network here in the US.
    03-10-2013 04:45 PM
  10. Robinsonmac's Avatar
    That was the case for CDMA but the last few years all Verizons smartphones are "world Phones" that have GSM radios also. This is all for 3G data + CDMA for voice. Their LTE network is not CDMA based & they plan on having all their phones on LTE with voice & data by 2014.

    See info here;

    Verizon plans to drop CDMA from phones in 2014 in favor of pure LTE | ExtremeTech
    03-10-2013 05:53 PM
  11. freestaterocker's Avatar
    Actually, it is. I own an unlocked lg quantum that supports the 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900 MHz bands/frequencies. T-Mobile also supports the 1900 MHz band/frequency for 3G/4G-HSPA+ use. Problem? I only get 2G/EDGE, even when in a 3G area. Why? Because only areas where T-Mobile refarmed their PCS (UMTS frequency band II) Spectrum are using 3G on the 1900 MHz frrequency. Everywhere else, ATT uses 1900 MHz for 3G while T-Mobile gets use of the 1900 MHz frequency for 2G and EDGE.

    So even a quadband phone (such as mine, seeing as it supports 4 different frequency bands) doesn't work right, due to carriers using different bands of the same frequency (because 2 carriers cant operate on the same exact band on the same exact frequency)
    This is actually not true. All three of the major carriers here in Canada operate on the same GSM frequency bands, 850/1900 and 1700 for LTE, with 700mhz LTE spectrum soon to be or possibly already auctioned off to the highest bidder by the Government. But instead of competition, we have collusion, with carriers continually raising prices in virtual unison. And those damnable 3-year contracts.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-10-2013 06:25 PM
  12. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    This is actually not true. All three of the major carriers here in Canada operate on the same GSM frequency bands, 850/1900 and 1700 for LTE, with 700mhz LTE spectrum soon to be or possibly already auctioned off to the highest bidder by the Government. But instead of competition, we have collusion, with carriers continually raising prices in virtual unison. And those damnable 3-year contracts.
    Yeah, we're fortunate in the UK in that we have four GSM carriers all using the same spectrum, plus several MVNOs. Three do the best deals (but their customer service makes you want to suicide... try asking for a PAC code to move networks like I did to get my Lumia 920! They tried EVERY excuse in the book!), with their signature plan being 25/mth SIM-only on a 30-day rolling contract. This nets you 2000 any network minutes, 5000 3-2-3 minutes, 5000 texts, and all you can eat 3G data with unlimited tethering included. Rumour is that contract will automatically upgrade itself at no extra cost, keeping all the same stuff, but just adding in unlimited 4G data.
    03-10-2013 07:37 PM
  13. Flagz's Avatar
    Tmobile starting to do the same as the countries now. All we need is now penta band phones that work on all spectrums. Tmobile I'm paying unlimited everything $40 with choice to buy out phone in Full or make monthly installments for $20 for 20 months after down payment.
    03-10-2013 08:55 PM
  14. drankurn's Avatar
    ok, I am from US and this is my situation, draw your own conclusions. I have a family plan with 2 smartphones on ATT - more than enough minutes with rollover and 2 gb data per month per line for about $85/month - so it's about $42.50 per line per month. and I paid $100 for my Lumia 920 and received more than $150 in rewards and giftcards from Bestbuy for signing 2 year contract. also, I called ATT after the upgrade and they waived the upgrade fee. another thing to keep in mind, although the contract is for 2 years, you can get the discounted prices on the new phones after 18 months. so basically think of them as 18 month contracts. so, if you ask me I think it's a pretty good deal.
    03-10-2013 09:49 PM
  15. The ZennyBoy's Avatar
    The US telecom system really is a joke and a fraud. Almost depressing really.

    I just want to thank everyone for persuading me to leave this country . . . hahahaha . . .
    03-10-2013 10:56 PM
  16. Abdul Rahman Noor's Avatar
    Thank you OP for bringing this up. I'm confused how people seem to get phones "subsidized" when you're locked on for 2 years. I bought my L820 for 370 (with a free wireless charger and Windows8 Pro DVD - freebies themselves that cost around 100).

    I'm not a big talker so on an average I spend about 20 on different PAYG (with 1gig 3G data)
    So my total cost for two years is 370 + (24 x 20) = 850

    To compare, vodafone's L820 is "free" with 38/month = 912.
    (other plans offer less than 500MB data)

    Unless my Math's really off, it's not a bargain unless you talk a lot.
    03-11-2013 08:42 AM
  17. Zokudu's Avatar
    You've got to consider you're essentially taking out a loan to subsidize a phone so a 62 markup seems fair. I feel like subsidizing has its place. Some people feel weird dumping such a large amount of money on a device upfront or in the US the way cellular evolved (and a little bit of convenient legislation no ones in a hurry to repeal) it just works better.

    One thing people seem to be missing when talking about the US carriers is that you can buy a phone outright. Say a 920 and do an MVNO, AT&T without a contract, AT&T prepaid BYOD plans or even T-Mobile (without 4g). Some MVNOs are nice over here. One of the big AT&T MVNOs has unlimited talk, text and data (throttled after 2GB) for $45 a month. There's nothing stopping us from doing that.
    03-11-2013 09:45 AM
  18. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    Thank you OP for bringing this up. I'm confused how people seem to get phones "subsidized" when you're locked on for 2 years. I bought my L820 for 370 (with a free wireless charger and Windows8 Pro DVD - freebies themselves that cost around 100).

    I'm not a big talker so on an average I spend about 20 on different PAYG (with 1gig 3G data)
    So my total cost for two years is 370 + (24 x 20) = 850

    To compare, vodafone's L820 is "free" with 38/month = 912.
    (other plans offer less than 500MB data)

    Unless my Math's really off, it's not a bargain unless you talk a lot.
    I prefer to do a like-for-like comparison. As in same deal, just one includes the phone, the other doesn't. So let's use Three's "The One Plan" for comparison.

    Both deals are exactly same (2k any-network mins, 5k same-network mins, 5k texts, unlimited data with tethering included)

    SIM-only (phone costs 350): 25/mth
    With HTC 8X for free: 26/mth

    As you pay 1/mth extra to get the phone subsidized, essentially the phone costs you 24.
    03-11-2013 09:52 AM
  19. Robinsonmac's Avatar
    I have 4 smart phones on Verizon with the family share plan with Unlimited talk, text & 8 GB of data for $200 per month(plus taxes, fees & insurance which comes to $227.) My wife & one daughter have IPhone's which cost $100 each. I have a HTC Trophy & my other daughter has a Lumia 822. The Trophy was $50 & the 822 free plus Wal-Mart sent me a $100 gift card. We all upgrade & get new phones every 18 months even though the contract is for 2 years.

    Subsidized Plan:

    $227 X 18 months = $4086 + $250 for the phones = $4336

    Un-subsidized plan:

    $227 X 18 months = $4086 + $1100 for 2 IPhones & $900 for the Trophy & 822 = $6086

    As you can see there is no benefit from me buying the phones upfront from Verizon because they don't lower the plan if you do. If they lowered the plan costs I'd be all over it. Also since Verizon uses CDMA for voice & LTE for data, I couldn't take my phone to AT&T or TMobile even if I did buy the phones up front.(I have read that the Verizon 8X is unlocked but don't know if anyone has gotten it to work on a GSM network in the US) Also everyone in the US is forgetting that congress is trying to pass legislation to reverse the carrier locked phone law that went into effect 3 weeks ago.... Pretty much the US system is a %^&%@ mess........
    Last edited by Robinsonmac; 03-11-2013 at 08:43 PM.
    LeLee092 likes this.
    03-11-2013 05:00 PM
  20. mrmdj31675's Avatar
    You couldn't even take a global device designed to work on Verizon by default to another CDMA carrier like Sprint or C-Spire as examples (there's the flashing an IMEI, but that is not done by Verizon or Sprint, but heard storiea about being able to do so on MetroPCS except for Windows Phone devices).
    03-11-2013 06:07 PM
  21. LeLee092's Avatar
    Remember we also have MetroPCS and VirginMOBILE that work like other countries, where you just pay full price for a phone, find a plan that fits you and off you go, no contract no nothing just monthly payment..
    I just finished buying my Uncle a phone from VirginMobile...Only problem with these companies is that they're very late at getting new phones, most of their hotshot phones are now mid-level phones (example their upscale phones right now on Virgin is the Samsung Galaxy II and the iPhone 4s :/), and if you do buy a premium device unlocked, you have all the broadband/techy things to worry about and might not work with these companies

    So yeah we have options, but when it comes with premium right out of the oven technology phones, your only viable option is a 2 year contract with a one of the big 4 (att, verizon, sprint, tmobile)
    03-12-2013 04:48 AM
  22. Coreldan's Avatar
    One thing people seem to be missing when talking about the US carriers is that you can buy a phone outright. Say a 920 and do an MVNO, AT&T without a contract, AT&T prepaid BYOD plans or even T-Mobile (without 4g). Some MVNOs are nice over here. One of the big AT&T MVNOs has unlimited talk, text and data (throttled after 2GB) for $45 a month. There's nothing stopping us from doing that.
    Perhaps, but at that price it's still not cheap for what it gets you.
    03-12-2013 04:59 AM
  23. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    One thing people seem to be missing when talking about the US carriers is that you can buy a phone outright. Say a 920 and do an MVNO, AT&T without a contract, AT&T prepaid BYOD plans or even T-Mobile (without 4g). Some MVNOs are nice over here. One of the big AT&T MVNOs has unlimited talk, text and data (throttled after 2GB) for $45 a month. There's nothing stopping us from doing that.
    So it's about 25/mth... you can go with one of the big 4 here (our big 4 are O2, EE {Orange/T-Mobile}, Vodafone, and Three, as they all own a good chunk of spectrum, Three is the one offering this deal), and get 2000 any network minutes, 5000 same network minutes, 5000 texts, and unlimited data with tethering included (and no throttling, my mate went through 83GB in a month with no throttling or extra charges). Still seems like a bit of a sour deal.
    03-12-2013 05:46 AM
  24. Flagz's Avatar
    So it's about 25/mth... you can go with one of the big 4 here (our big 4 are O2, EE {Orange/T-Mobile}, Vodafone, and Three, as they all own a good chunk of spectrum, Three is the one offering this deal), and get 2000 any network minutes, 5000 same network minutes, 5000 texts, and unlimited data with tethering included (and no throttling, my mate went through 83GB in a month with no throttling or extra charges). Still seems like a bit of a sour deal.
    I pay 44.99 a month for mobile. I went 40GB+ Oone month no throttle or charge ;) not to shabby.
    03-12-2013 08:26 AM
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