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San Diego’s cell phone bill projected to jump 78% with five years

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(The Center Square) – The city of San Diego is projecting that its cell phone bill will increase by 78% within the next five years.

The city spent $6.44 million on its wireless services spread between Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile in 2023. That is projected to increase to $11.46 million by 2029, according to city documents.

The City Council approved a deal where wireless costs from 2025 through 2029 will cost $47.54 million. The city’s current agreements with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile expire on June 30. The expiring contract was for 43-months at $20.47 million (about $476,046 a month). The new deal is 62 months at a projected $47.54 million (about $766,774 a month).

San Diego is following the state of Utah’s lead and doing five-year contract agreements to optimize savings, according to a city memo. The contract went through a bid process.

The memo stated that the state of Utah “has taken the lead in procuring nationwide cooperative agreements for cellular/wireless services leveraging economies of scale to achieve the best possible pricing for participating agencies.”

The city’s wireless network covers – among other things – internet hotspots for the library (referred to as “digital equity”), code compliance, graffiti removal, weed abatement, pothole repairs and public safety operations.