Because someone has to pay somewhere. A mobile phone in a very basic sense is just a radio transceiver, and to be able to transmit and receive on a radio costs money. You have the cost for the handset, the airtime costs, the licencing costs, the costs for building the transmission towers, maintenance costs, planning permission. So somewhere someone has to pay and the mobile phone company certainly doesn't want to pay. There is also wi-fi which in some areas can give you free access, but that is a different kettle of fish, wi-fi is so weak and it uses frequencies that don't need a licence to transmit on. Really it's not the mobile phone companies that charge you for the internet on the phone, it's the government, they sell the licences for 3G airtime to the mobile networks, and then the mobile networks need to use it and sell it on to you, and still make a profit on it. Of course the government do cream the 3G licences because they know they can - consider this an amateur radio user used to cost just £10 per year to transmit on numerous frequencies (now it's even better - the ham radio licence is free!), and yet for similar frequencies mobile firms are being charged thousands of pounds a year and they need to make that back, and it's all because the government know that they will make it back. If you want totally free ways of sending data you could look into passing the RAE and getting an amatuer radio licence, then you can transmit data and use packet radio free of charge, but the only problem then is the actual cost of the equipment, I bought my ham radio a number of years ago and then it costs me £250 for a second hand handheld unit. But if you did go down that route you might see some of the costs involved to the phone companies to give even 1Gb of data away.