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Global Mobile Data Compared for the Fourth Consecutive Year

A recent survey revealed that mobile data plans in the United States are among the most expensive in the world, while Australia ranks 34th.

This is the fourth annual survey carried out by cable.co.uk and it shows that although there are some interesting positional moves, not much has changed over the duration of the survey.

We have already reported on this survey and similar surveys with large swings in position.

Looking at the data, one of the most striking observations is that mobile data is more expensive in countries with weak infrastructure; and populations are small. It may be obvious.

With that in mind, Cable.co.uk consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle notes: “Many of the cheapest countries to buy mobile data from fall roughly into one of two categories. Some have excellent mobile and landline broadband infrastructure and so providers are able to offer large amounts of data, bringing the price per gigabyte down. Others with less advanced broadband networks rely heavily on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices need to be low because that’s what people can afford.

“At the more expensive end of the list we have countries where often the infrastructure is not great but also where the consumption is very low. People often buy data packets of a few tens of megabytes at a time, which makes a gigabyte a relatively large amount of data and therefore expensive to buy. Many countries in the middle of the list have good infrastructure and competitive mobile markets, and although their prices are not among the cheapest in the world, they would not necessarily be considered expensive by its consumers.




The gap between the averages of the cheapest and most expensive countries is quite huge. Israel is by far the cheapest in the world at around $0.04 per GB, while the island nation of Saint Helena is more than 1,000 times more expensive at over $41 for the same amount of data. Note that the report converted all amounts to USD.

cable co uk

Overall, according to cable.co.uk, we find that there are four determining factors:

Excellent infrastructure: Countries with long-established and ubiquitous 4G or new 5G infrastructure tend to fall towards the cheaper end of the table.

High dependency: Countries with little or no availability of fixed broadband are therefore highly dependent on the provision of mobile data. In these cases, mobile data is the primary means people have to connect, and adoption is often nearly ubiquitous. With a saturated market and many competing providers, often accompanied by a low average salary, data pricing in these countries can be exceptionally cheap compared to the global scale.

Small consumption: Countries where, although mobile data is widely available and widely used, basic and/or overloaded infrastructure dictates a culture of limited usage. In such countries, SIM cards tend to be relatively cheap but mostly available loaded with very small amounts of data. In these countries, quantities of 2 to 5 MB and with one-day expirations are not uncommon. By multiplying such small amounts to calculate the cost of a gigabyte, these countries tended to end up at the more expensive end of the table.

Rich economy: Rich countries tend to have good mobile infrastructure, decently sized data caps, and relatively healthy markets. Since people can afford to pay more and network infrastructure is much more expensive to own and operate, and provided they have not reached the “excellent infrastructure” category where data limits exceed normal usage or are fully unlimited, data pricing tends towards the world. medium.

We encourage readers to visit the website and view the data for themselves. We suggest you locate the world map on this page and hover over any country to get detailed information. Additionally, there are regional rankings and other detailed data as you scroll down.

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