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Press Release

Press Release

March 2, 2020

America’s Wireless Customers Get the Most Value for their Money, New 36-Country Study Shows .

U.S. consumers may save up to nearly $10 billion per year

WASHINGTON, DC— America’s wireless customers get the most value for their money according to a new, comprehensive analysis of wireless plans offered in 36 countries from NERA Economic Consulting. NERA’s data shows that U.S. consumers save up to nearly $10 billion each year, stemming from the superior value that U.S. wireless providers offer.

“The U.S. wireless industry offers tremendous value to consumers, as this comprehensive study conclusively proves,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, CTIA President and CEO. “Better speeds, more coverage, and lower prices—all driven by intense competition and focus on serving consumers—mean America’s wireless users get great bang for their buck.”

“With its comprehensive nature, this study should quickly become the gold standard of wireless value proposition studies,” said NERA Managing Director Dr. Christian Dippon. “As opposed to much of the existing research, we look at a myriad of competitive differentiators beyond price as well as the vast differences in building wireless networks in each country—all of which results in a more accurate and meaningful comparison of the actual value propositions offered to consumers. Other studies often look at a single metric—usually the cost per gigabyte of data—to rank countries. However, that approach fails to consider all the factors that consumers consider when choosing a wireless provider and other factors that enhance consumer value.”

About the Study

NERA compiled data on 1,554 wireless plans from 213 wireless providers across 36 countries. The data included key factors like minutes, amount of data included, SMS inclusion, number of lines, network coverage, download speeds, and price. They also gathered country-specific attributes like geographic size and per capita income, as these factors can drive differences in cost and value considerations.

NERA derived the value offered by each country’s wireless providers by determining the difference between the expected cost of service and the actual cost subscribers pay. They then ranked the U.S. value proposition against seven different country peer groups, including G7 countries, countries with similar GDP per capita, and EU countries.

To determine an overall rank of the countries with greatest wireless value proposition, each country received a score for its position in each peer group. Combining the scores of each peer set, the U.S. ranked first in value proposition, followed by Canada and Ireland.

To determine how much American consumers may save each year, NERA subtracted what consumers pay every year in the U.S. from what they would have paid for the same service in the average of other countries. The calculation showed U.S. wireless consumers may be saving nearly $10B each year.

The full study is available here.

About NERA Economic Consulting

NERA Economic Consulting (www.nera.com) is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For half a century, NERA’s economists have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation. NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world’s largest economic consultancies. With its main office in New York City, NERA serves clients from more than 25 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

About CTIA
CTIA® (www.ctia.org) represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and the companies throughout the mobile ecosystem that enable Americans to lead a 21st century connected life. The association’s members include wireless carriers, device manufacturers, suppliers as well as apps and content companies. CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. The association also coordinates the industry’s voluntary best practices, hosts educational events that promote the wireless industry and co-produces the industry’s leading wireless tradeshow. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C.

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