U.S. teens and young adults are less likely to foot their own cell-phone bills than their counterparts in other countries.American parents are far more likely to pay the cell-phone bills for their high-school- and college-age children than their counterparts in other countries, according to a new Nielsen report.

Only about one in four 15- to 19-year-old Americans say they pay for their own cell-phone service, compared to more than half of German, Brazilian and British residents in the same age group. And fewer than half of Americans between the ages of 20 and 24 footed their own bills, compared to almost 90% of Russians of the same age and more than 80% of those in Germany, Brazil and the U.K., according to the report.

Family Plans

The proliferation of family calling plans and economic uncertainty in the U.S. -- which has made children more dependent on their parents -- have contributed to the trend, Nielsen says. About 40% of all U.S. mobile-phone lines are part of a family plan, according to Roger Entner, senior vice president of Nielsen's telecom practice's research and insights group. "It's really easy for parents to add their children to family plans, and it's cheap," Entner says. "Most parents won't kick their kid off when it only costs them $10 a month."

In the past decade, telecommunications companies have increased their marketing of family plans to gain incremental revenue from parents who weren't using all of their minutes. The approach is less popular overseas, where most mobile plans are prepaid. In the U.S., just 19% of cell-phone users over 25 years old use a prepaid plan, according to the study.

"Until a few years ago, prepaid had a stigma attached to it," Entner says. "Internationally, that stigma was never there."

Additionally, American teens and young adults are the world's most likely to use their phones for email, while Chinese users between 15 and 24 are the world's biggest users of the mobile Internet, according to the report. Americans and Russians are the most apt to download video games, and Chinese are most likely to use instant-messaging features.

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L R Adams

Cell phones CAN be programmed to block specific area codes, phone numbers and length of calls. But cell phone companies are like drug dealers* they want all the business they can get and they don*t care who has to pays the price.

December 18 2010 at 3:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

pack the 21 year olds bag and give him a few hundred bucks and throw him out.

December 18 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

what is wrong with the kid getting a job. All I got was food clothing and shelter. Except for christmas and birthday any toy I wanted I had to pay for.

December 18 2010 at 3:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Just MAYBE their cell phone service is cheaper there than it is here in the states. ??? Just sayin'!!

December 18 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

WHAT MADE BOYS GROW UP QUICKLY 30 YEARS AGO??????? It was called 'the draft'...and I dont mean baseball

December 18 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Why do our young people sound like uneducated louts????? Easy...talk to their parents...fruit doesnt fall far from the tree!!!!!!

December 18 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Pam Miller

How do you like how we've all been suckered? Where is my 20.00 phone that hangs on the wall? Where are the phone booths I can use for a quarter, if I can't afford a cell phone? How many of us are now BUNDLED, so that you lose 3 major services if you get trapped for cash and can't pay for one of them. Kids think nothing of this, because parents are still paying the bills. We got screwed and didn't even see it coming!

December 18 2010 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

I use a burn phone for my kids, and it has no web,email,etc,...they only get it when they go out, just wish I could block all phone calls except for mine

December 18 2010 at 11:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Just think we did not have a tv until I was in high school and it was a small black & white. We did have a phone on a party line.

December 18 2010 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

wonder why on this day when our "representatives" open wide the doors to our country, aol will not allow discussion....ya know, live time, although not uncensored

December 18 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dterraman's comment

Because AOL is a shill for the progressive agenda. "News" articles always have a left slant, if there is a lawmaker in trouble and she/he is a republican it's in the headline. If a dem, it's either buried deep in the article or not even mentioned. Same goes for the violent nut jobs that are out protesting and doing some serious damage...their political leanings are never mentioned. But, that's a good thing because by not mentioning it, AOL makes it more obvious.

December 18 2010 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply