Supporting a family of five, I continue to suffer from mobile-phone sticker shock. The cost of supplying my family with devices, data plans, and services is climbing close to the monthly payment for a Porsche. I don't think I'm alone.
As I hand over more of my hard-earned cash to mobile operators, I wonder if this is a sign that the profitability of mobile operators has peaked. I came to this realization this weekend when we went to the local mobile operator store to acquire a new smartphone for my daughter.
We have established a tradition in our family, which is that you get your first smartphone when you turn 13, as long as certain grade and work requirements are met. Our younger daughter recently turned 13. Getting her a smartphone was a bittersweet moment. I was happy that my daughter was excited about the phone. She's worked hard to meet all the conditions for this technology privilege.
But there's also the downside: time and cost. My daughter will now spend more time on Instagram and games. It's a constant battle to manage electronics use among children. Then there's the cost. Another smartphone will add another $10 a month (at least) to a bill that already exceeds $240 a month for a family of five. That's twice as much as our cable bill and the same price as the payments on a new car.