If you want cheap mobile data, India is the best place in the world to get it, with 1GB costing an average of just $0.26, a major new study of 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries revealed today.
The mobile data survey found that 1GB will set you back $75.20 on average in Zimbabwe – the most expensive country – meaning streaming a Netflix film in HD would likely cost in excess of $350.
The UK, meanwhile, ranks 136 out of 230 countries, with an average cost of $6.66 for 1GB, while the US is one of the most expensive developed nations for buying mobile data, at an average of $12.37.
Commenting on the mobile data survey findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, which conducted the survey, said: “Many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories.”
“Some have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure and so providers are able to offer large amounts of data, which brings down the price per gigabyte. Others with less advanced broadband networks are heavily reliant on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices must be low, as that’s what people can afford.”
He added: “At the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn’t great but also where consumption is very small.”
“People are often buying data packages of just a tens of megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy. Many countries in the middle of the list have good infrastructure and competitive mobile markets, and while their prices aren’t among the cheapest in the world they wouldn’t necessarily be considered expensive by its consumers.”
Mobile Data Survey: Greatest Discrepancies Found in Africa
The greatest divergences in mobile data cost can be found in Africa: sub-Saharan Africa has three countries among the top ten cheapest in the world – Rwanda at $0.56, Sudan at $0.68 and the Democratic Republic of Congo at $0.88. The region also has four of the six most expensive countries on the list, with Zimbabwe joined by Equatorial Guinea $65.83, Saint Helena $55.47 and Djibouti $37.92.
Finland was the cheapest country in Europe in which to buy 1GB at $1.16. Monaco at $1.21 was the second cheapest in Western Europe followed by Denmark $1.36) and Italy at $1.73. The UK fell sixteenth in Europe.