Australian mobile phone services cheapest in OECD: Report

The Herald Sun 

Australian mobile phone customers are getting the best deal on mobile phone calls.

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found Australia beat the United Kingdom and France as the cheapest countries to own a mobile among the 12 surveyed, with Mexico identified as the most expensive.

Sandra Di Palma is a gallery assistant from Sydney whose mother is Mexican and travels to Mexico regularly.

She believes Australians have it lucky when it comes to their phones.

“In Australian I spend about $15 per month with no internet,” she says.

“But in Mexico I would probably spend at least $100 just for a month, in texts and calls. And that’s with a Mexican SIM.”

The report collected prices from 2012 across 12 countries of three “baskets”: 100 calls and 500GB of data, 300 calls and 1GB data, and 900 calls and 2GB data.

In each category, the average price of Australian plans was the lowest surveyed.

“After owning a phone in Australia, the first time I had a phone in Mexico I really had to watch when I messaged and how long a phone call would be, because the credit would run out really quickly,” Miss Di Palma said.

With “telco-bashing” becoming a favourite pastime, these results may come as a surprise to consumers.

However, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network urged caution on drawing too many conclusions from the study.

“The research attempts to simplify Australian mobile offerings into ‘number of calls’ per month on a plan but this is virtually impossible to do,” said spokesman Asher Moses.

“It is also important to note that the Australian dollar was at record highs during the period this research was conducted so our Purchasing Power Parity was also at record highs.”

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