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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Americans Pay Too Much for Bad Data Plans

Sprint is getting aggressive on mobile data pricing, but not aggressive enough to bring U.S. rates to down to European levels.

The latest deals offered by mobile-phone provider Sprint fall far short of the "massive price war" once promised by the company's owners at SoftBank, raising a question: Why do U.S. consumers still pay so much money for such bad mobile data service?

Sprint is offering 10 wireless lines sharing 20 gigabytes of data for $100 a month to people who switch to its service. That's better than T-Mobile's four lines with 10 gigabytes for the same price, and even compares well with what I can get at home in Berlin, where a single user can get 1.5 gigabytes of data from Vodafone for $20 a month or 1 gigabyte from Telefonica for $6 (granted, without the hassle of setting up a traffic-sharing commune).