Is Australia the Cheapest Country for Mobile Phone Owners?

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By Reissa Su | July 8, 2013 2:52 PM EST

Australian mobile phone users may have the best deal in the world when it comes to mobile phone calls. A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed Australia as the cheapest country to own a mobile phone.

Australia beat the United Kingdom and France for the top spot.  Mexico is the most expensive country to own a mobile phone based on the 12 countries in the survey.

One of the survey respondents is a Sydney gallery assistant, Sandra Di Palma.  She has a Mexican mother and travels to regularly to Mexico.  Di Palma believes Australians are lucky to own mobile phones in the nation. 

Sandra says she spends $15 a month for her mobile phone with no Internet service.  In Mexico, she spends $100 for mobile phone service in a month.  This includes texts and calls using a Mexican SIM.

The OECD report contains data of prices for mobile phone services from 2012 in 12 countries using three categories.  The first category will list countries offering cheap rates for 100 calls with 500GB of data. The next category will list prices according to 300 calls and 1GB of data while the last is 900 calls and 2GB of data. 

The survey also considered cost of mobile phone.  The OECD reviewed the handset plans of Optus and Telstra.  In each category, the average price of plans in Australia was found to be the lowest among nations. 

Sandra Di Palma says she had to watch out for her calls and texts while in Mexico since her credit often runs out quickly.  Since bashing telecommunication companies has become a pastime in Australia, the results of the OECD report may come as a surprise to many. 

According to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, the public is encouraged to exercise caution in drawing conclusions from the survey. 

A spokesman for the consumer action network, Asher Moses, says the research study only attempts to simplify mobile service plans in Australia into a number of calls kind of plan but apparently, this may be impossible. 

Moses also said it is important to note that the Australian dollar was at its highest during the period the research study was conducted.  A strong Australian dollar meant higher purchasing power for Australians.   

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