Mobile phone bills up 5% over last year: doxo

Americans are spending an average of $1,342 per year on mobile phone services, up 5% from last year, according to a new report from Seattle-based doxo.

The doxoInsights’ report for 2023 sized the overall market, revealing that Americans spend $175 billion annually on mobile phone services.

The findings show that 94% of U.S. households with a mobile phone bill spend $119/month, or $1,428 per year, which equates to $1,342 per year when averaging across all U.S. households.

(doxo )

Based on the report’s breakout by state, Hawaii is the state with the highest mobile bills, with monthly amounts averaging $165. West Virginia and Wyoming are close, coming in at $143/month and $142/month, respectively. In the fourth spot is Connecticut, at $139/month, and in fifth place is Delaware at $138/month.

The cities with the highest mobile phone bills are Boston, at $211/month, followed by Kansas City at $143/month. San Diego is No. 3 at $131/month, followed by Portland and San Francisco, each at $126/month.

“With the average American dishing out nearly $1,000 for a flagship smartphone in 2023, and prices only expected to rise, it’s not surprising that the majority (86%) of consumers report a growing concern about their mobile phone bills,” said Liz Powell, senior director of Insights at doxo, in a statement.  

The company is trying to make consumers aware of the tools it offers so they can budget accordingly and make better informed decisions when choosing a service provider.

Wireless trends

With the rising cost of wireless phone bills over the past few years, it’s not surprising that service providers are seeing slower growth in net adds, Powell said.

While wireless carrier CEOs like to talk about how wireless connectivity is seen as a “must have” by many consumers, Powell said that as consumers continue to be impacted by inflation, they’re more likely to tighten their wallets in an effort to save and are less likely to dish out extra spending on things like new devices and/or upgrading their wireless plans.

“Because inflation has led to an increase in the amount paid across all bill categories, consumers need to seek out any and every way to save money. In fact, a recent survey uncovered that more than half (56%) of Americans would consider ditching their plans with a big three service provider and switching to a smaller provider in order to lower their monthly bills,” Powell told Fierce via email. “Every dollar counts during this time of economic uncertainty.”

Through the rest of the fourth quarter, she expects consumers to continue to get creative in order to save money, whether it’s through negotiation, switching providers or getting rid of services altogether.

As for MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators, they’re a great option for consumers looking to cut back on their monthly mobile expenses, she said. However, most consumers probably aren’t aware of MVNOs or the savings that can be had by switching from a big carrier.

Through its doxoINSIGHTS program, doxo is making bill pay data publicly available to help consumers understand how much they should and could be paying for the 10 most common household bills.

“We’re helping to arm consumers with the knowledge they need to have better-informed conversations with their existing service providers, opening the doors to more discussions about ways to reduce their monthly cellular rates,” she said.