Gee, I wonder Sure, the overages are usually a rip-off, but in terms of the base plans, look at the area Verizon is rolling out with LTE, and the population density overall, and then do the same in Europe. It should be pretty obvious why it costs so much. It's not cheap to put in fiber aggregation and microwave distribution backhaul throughout the mountains of New Hampshire and the plains of the midwest and such. And that's not to mention the retrofit cost on each and every tower...
And how is it that the great flat Midwest (where we put freeways and huge factory farms down in a few years) or densely populated New England manage to be expensive compared to Sweden.
Or for that matter, the mountains of Austria and Switzerland are a lot harder to provide wireless coverage over than anywhere in the US east of Denver!
I think the words oligopoly and greed are more accurate than costs to explain the problem.
how big are Austria and Switzerland together compared to half of the US? In addition, the populations are denser and less spread out there than say Oklahoma. In addition, the densest area in the us, in big cities like Chicago or NYC have more than two choices for wireless carriers.
reply to cmarslett
Because you need to cover the whole country. And it's not cheap.