Report: Making This One Switch Could Save Americans Over $214.8 Billion Per Year on Their Cell Phone Bills

2023 Cell Phone Plan Overspending Report by WhistleOut in partnership with Mint Mobile

SALT LAKE CITY, June 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- How much are Americans overpaying for cell phone coverage? The 2023 Cell Phone Overspending Report by WhistleOut, in partnership with Mint Mobile, looked at consumer spending habits to determine how much money they could save by switching to a smaller carrier.

  • The average cost of a cell phone plan through a major carrier like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, is $160/month.

  • 28% of Americans have had their monthly cell phone bill go up in the past year

  • 56% of Americans say that they’re likely to switch to a smaller carrier in order to save money

What's the solution for consumers to stop overpaying? It already exists: Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MNVOs, are smaller carriers that operate on the same networks as major carriers, providing the same cell coverage for much, much less. Despite the potential savings, major carriers continue to dominate.

"Plan prices continue to rise unchecked, so people think they are forced into spending far more than they actually should. With an MVNO, you get the exact same coverage and plan options at a fraction of the cost; plus, MVNOs are better about offering customizations to choose the amount of data you actually use, which you can often switch up whenever your habits change. It’s a win-win," Lauren Hannula, WhistleOut Telecom Expert.

  • Most MVNO customers pay $50/month or less for the same coverage as major carriers
    • An individual who switches to an MVNO from a major carrier could save an average of $1,320 per year
    • The savings accrued over a lifetime for someone on an MVNO versus someone on a major carrier is $73,920
  • 72% of Americans were unaware that MVNOs existed in the U.S., and most didn’t know what an MVNO was at all
  • Brand loyalty is the #1 cited reason customers of major carriers are hesitant to switch to an MVNO, agreeing to pay higher prices simply to stay with a brand that’s familiar to them
  • If everyone in NYC alone switched to an MVNO from a major carrier, they would collectively save over $4.5 BILLION, per year

Aron North, chief marketing officer at Mint Mobile, had this to say about Americans’ lack of awareness when it comes to MVNOs. “Americans are getting hammered by high wireless prices. It makes total sense that [they] are looking to switch to save money. [With an MVNO], you’ll get the same thing for less. Who doesn’t want that?”

Read the full report here: 

METHODOLOGY: Results are from a post-stratified survey of 1000 American adults who have and pay for their own cell phone bills as well as US Census data. Monthly MVNO costs are based on internal data.

ABOUT WHISTLEOUT: WhistleOut is a specialized search engine designed to make tech decisions easier and more accessible to consumers, bringing the world closer together through increased connectivity.

ABOUT MINT MOBILE: We took what’s wrong with wireless and made it right. Everything we do is to help you save money on wireless, so you can spend your cash on other stuff.


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What could you buy with a lifetime of savings by switching to an MVNO?

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