The Economist has an excellent article on how Indian mobile phone companies cut costs. They have an ARPU of $6.50 a month yet operate with a 40% gross margin. If US cellcos were run as efficiently, they would have a 1200% gross margin on the $51 monthly ARPU!
The time has long come to stop coddling grossly inefficient and anti-competitive cellular carriers in the West. They are no longer fledgling businesses in the shadow of landlines, quite the opposite, in fact. One good place to start would be to require them to offer consumers the choice of carrier for international calls and for roaming, as is the case with landlines. Their rates are simply extortionate.