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Here and Now with Robin Young
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rising Smartphone Bills Cut Into Family Budgets

As more Americans opt for smartphones, telecom companies like Verizon and AT&T are getting a huge boost from the data plans they’re selling. Telecoms have seen revenue for data plans increase by $38 billion over four years.

And that’s translating into dramatically higher cell phone bills. Last year, some families with four smartphones spent more than $4,000 to stay connected.

That figure has been rising for the past four years.

But as families increase the amount of money they spend on cell phone service, they’re cutting back in other areas, like eating out, clothes and entertainment.

And economic experts say that shift in spending is hurting the bottom line of restaurants, clothing stores and the film industry.

Guest:

  • Anton Troianovsky, telecom reporter for the Wall Street Journal

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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