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UK Ranked 136th Out of 230 Countries for its High Mobile Data Price

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 (8:11 am) - Score 3,763
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A new study has analysed information from 6,313 mobile data plans across 230 countries in order to compare the cost of 1GB (Gigabyte) of mobile data (mobile broadband) around the entire world. Sadly the United Kingdom ranked a “disappointing” 136th with an average price in USD of $6.66 (£5) per Gigabyte.

The research, which was conducted by Cable.co.uk between 23rd October and 28th November 2018, found that India is the cheapest country in which to buy mobile data because the average cost of 1GB is just $0.26. On the flip side Zimbabwe in Africa came out as the most expensive ($75.20). Overall the average cost for a single Gigabyte of data across all countries was measured as $8.53 (£6.48).

Meanwhile the United States (USA) came out as one of the most expensive developed nations for purchasing mobile data, ranking just 182nd in the world and with an average 1GB cost of $12.37. Separately the report also noted that the UK was one of the most expensive countries in Europe for mobile data, which seems to contradict last week’s study from the European Commission (here).

However we note the EC’s study examined a wider cross section of plans and used a grouped comparison (comparing like-for-like between plans as closely as possible). By comparison today’s study adopted a simple mean average for consumer SIM-Only and pure Mobile Broadband plans, with the average monthly cost of 1GB of data for each country as a whole being calculated by totalling the price of a gigabyte in each plan recorded (e.g. a 10GB SIM with a cost of $30 would be calculated at $3 per Gigabyte).

The results table below also includes an additional column to show the cheapest 1GB plan for each country. In this order the UK actually comes out as $0.26 per Gigabyte, which ranks us just 25th overall (considerably better than just looking at the average across various operators and plans for the whole market).

In the handful of cases where only “unlimited data” deals are available in a certain country, the average data usage, per user, in that country was used to calculate the cost of 1GB. We are thus unclear how Cable.co.uk might have factored “unlimited” plans more generally into their study, such as Three UK’s various “all-you-can-eat” data options.

Rank Country Plans Avg. Price of 1GB Cheapest 1GB
1 India 57 $0.26 $0.02
2 Kyrgyzstan 12 $0.27 $0.08
3 Kazakhstan 26 $0.49 $0.28
4 Ukraine 12 $0.51 $0.21
5 Rwanda 36 $0.56 $0.04
6 Sudan 35 $0.68 $0.29
7 Sri Lanka 38 $0.78 $0.22
8 Mongolia 26 $0.82 $0.41
9 Myanmar 11 $0.87 $0.65
10 Congo (Democratic Republic of) 31 $0.88 $0.05
11 Israel 25 $0.90 $0.11
12 Russian Federation 31 $0.91 $0.14
13 Bangladesh 53 $0.99 $0.18
14 Finland 20 $1.16 $0.30
15 Malaysia 60 $1.18 $0.24
16 Monaco 3 $1.21 $0.90
17 Indonesia 60 $1.21 $0.13
18 Bhutan 37 $1.25 $0.51
19 Iran 36 $1.28 $0.38
20 Vietnam 41 $1.31 $0.06
21 Poland 57 $1.32 $0.13
22 Denmark 24 $1.36 $0.36
23 Cambodia 36 $1.49 $0.17
24 Egypt 37 $1.49 $0.48
25 Ghana 54 $1.56 $0.34
26 Afghanistan 46 $1.60 $0.66
27 Armenia 29 $1.65 $0.61
28 Morocco 34 $1.66 $0.58
29 Western Sahara 34 $1.66 $0.58
30 Cameroon 36 $1.71 $0.34
31 Italy 44 $1.73 $0.18
32 Jordan 49 $1.79 $0.42
33 Pakistan 58 $1.85 $0.29
34 Chile 60 $1.87 $0.73
35 Dominican Republic 9 $1.88 $1.42
36 Austria 59 $1.88 $0.28
37 Romania 19 $1.89 $0.13
38 Guinea 27 $1.94 $1.20
39 Burundi 31 $2.00 $0.37
40 Kuwait 36 $2.01 $0.06
41 Lithuania 11 $2.06 $0.63
42 Palestine, State of 30 $2.06 $0.20
43 Slovenia 28 $2.21 $0.08
44 Nigeria 57 $2.22 $0.26
45 Nepal 27 $2.25 $0.32
46 Zambia 45 $2.25 $0.42
47 Turkey 56 $2.25 $0.58
48 Belarus 25 $2.36 $0.31
49 Lesotho 30 $2.43 $0.68
50 Australia 56 $2.47 $0.11
51 Peru 23 $2.48 $1.57
52 Réunion 12 $2.51 $0.41
53 Azerbaijan 35 $2.69 $0.23
54 Kenya 54 $2.73 $0.28
55 Thailand 59 $2.78 $0.80
56 Uruguay 41 $2.80 $0.40
57 Moldova 15 $2.82 $0.78
58 Bahrain 20 $2.83 $1.81
59 Tunisia 37 $2.87 $0.31
60 Ethiopia 8 $2.91 $2.11
61 Niger 45 $2.92 $1.38
62 France 49 $2.99 $0.17
63 Guernsey 23 $3.05 $0.48
64 Argentina 36 $3.05 $0.65
65 Åland Islands 6 $3.10 $1.13
66 Mauritania 14 $3.12 $1.22
67 Philippines 19 $3.16 $0.95
68 Albania 33 $3.22 $0.68
69 Uzbekistan 56 $3.27 $0.43
70 Senegal 21 $3.28 $0.29
71 Georgia 36 $3.33 $0.32
72 Madagascar 26 $3.39 $0.80
73 Lao People’s Democratic Republic 37 $3.42 $0.29
74 Brazil 27 $3.50 $1.50
75 Fiji 14 $3.57 $0.47
76 Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 $3.58 $0.49
77 Malawi 18 $3.59 $1.37
78 Macedonia 37 $3.62 $0.57
79 Sweden 58 $3.66 $0.37
80 Estonia 31 $3.67 $0.45
81 Singapore 37 $3.67 $0.37
82 Mauritius 11 $3.71 $1.75
83 Liberia 35 $3.75 $0.60
84 Iceland 23 $3.78 $0.26
85 Spain 56 $3.79 $0.77
86 Jersey 30 $3.82 $0.52
87 Ireland 24 $3.95 $0.65
88 Hong Kong 51 $4.00 $1.01
89 Côte d’Ivoire 11 $4.10 $2.30
90 Syria 29 $4.14 $0.51
91 Cape Verde 13 $4.25 $2.56
92 Montenegro 13 $4.26 $0.64
93 Luxembourg 17 $4.39 $0.45
94 Timor-Leste 25 $4.48 $2.50
95 Guatemala 19 $4.53 $1.43
96 El Salvador 27 $4.55 $1.33
97 Belize 34 $4.57 $2.56
98 Qatar 21 $4.62 $1.10
99 Jamaica 23 $4.64 $1.86
100 Burkina Faso 34 $4.69 $1.72
101 Uganda 51 $4.69 $0.88
102 Serbia 36 $4.83 $0.34
103 Tajikistan 34 $4.84 $1.05
104 Macau 39 $4.84 $1.78
105 Libya 13 $4.87 $1.20
106 Croatia 38 $4.89 $0.46
107 Czech Republic 22 $4.91 $1.76
108 Sint Maarten 26 $4.92 $1.11
109 Vanuatu 16 $4.94 $3.39
110 Guinea-Bissau 7 $4.96 $2.10
111 American Samoa 11 $4.97 $3.89
112 Honduras 16 $5.02 $2.48
113 Costa Rica 18 $5.04 $2.72
114 Algeria 21 $5.15 $0.48
115 Brunei Darussalam 9 $5.25 $2.29
116 Maldives 16 $5.27 $2.59
117 Colombia 57 $5.28 $0.72
118 Gambia 20 $5.33 $2.45
119 São Tomé and Príncipe 19 $5.33 $1.38
120 Panama 29 $5.56 $2.00
121 Slovakia 32 $5.56 $0.82
122 Saudi Arabia 42 $5.62 $0.38
123 Congo 41 $5.63 $1.23
124 Sierra Leone 13 $5.79 $3.49
125 Gabon 10 $5.84 $1.72
126 Tanzania 40 $5.93 $0.43
127 Northern Mariana Islands 22 $5.99 $1.74
128 Central African Republic 11 $6.03 $2.87
129 Nicaragua 32 $6.04 $2.45
130 Guadeloupe 9 $6.06 $0.90
131 Suriname 23 $6.08 $1.91
132 Paraguay 30 $6.18 $2.47
133 Somalia 24 $6.19 $1.60
134 Isle of Man 14 $6.42 $0.90
135 Hungary 18 $6.56 $1.51
136 United Kingdom 60 $6.66 $0.26
137 San Marino 6 $6.86 $1.54
138 Bahamas 16 $6.89 $2.00
139 Ecuador 18 $6.93 $0.65
140 Germany 58 $6.96 $1.88
141 Latvia 13 $7.12 $2.09
142 Bulgaria 26 $7.15 $0.58
143 South Africa 58 $7.19 $0.71
144 Barbados 35 $7.21 $1.83
145 Guyana 25 $7.24 $4.09
146 Mexico 57 $7.38 $2.06
147 Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) 17 $7.40 $0.56
148 Faroe Islands 7 $7.77 $1.15
149 Haiti 24 $7.91 $0.46
150 Angola 13 $7.95 $1.91
151 The Netherlands 41 $7.99 $0.90
152 Iraq 24 $8.00 $1.46
153 Palau 7 $8.34 $3.13
154 Japan 60 $8.34 $1.04
155 Solomon Islands 16 $8.37 $6.13
156 Martinique 30 $8.46 $0.78
157 Bolivia 28 $8.51 $2.08
158 Niue 10 $9.20 $4.37
159 Lebanon 20 $9.21 $1.30
160 Mali 15 $9.22 $3.10
161 Taiwan 35 $9.49 $1.03
162 Caribbean Netherlands 34 $9.57 $2.00
163 Saint Lucia 25 $9.78 $2.33
164 New Zealand 42 $9.79 $1.91
165 China 28 $9.89 $0.87
166 Mayotte 8 $10.18 $0.90
167 United Arab Emirates 21 $10.23 $2.17
168 Svalbard and Jan Mayen 11 $10.26 $2.32
169 Saint-Martin (France) 29 $10.40 $0.56
170 Namibia 24 $11.02 $2.35
171 Kiribati 22 $11.05 $4.30
172 Puerto Rico 21 $11.12 $3.00
173 Oman 38 $11.28 $3.90
174 Papua New Guinea 34 $11.51 $6.83
175 Grenada 20 $11.56 $4.24
176 Antigua and Barbuda 41 $11.71 $1.94
177 Togo 3 $11.76 $11.49
178 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23 $12.00 $3.69
179 Canada 60 $12.02 $3.73
180 Swaziland 45 $12.14 $1.58
181 Belgium 60 $12.30 $2.21
182 United States 32 $12.37 $1.50
183 Curaçao 25 $12.42 $7.72
184 Comoros 10 $12.57 $2.29
185 Cuba 5 $12.58 $11.25
186 Aruba 22 $12.70 $7.41
187 Andorra 10 $12.71 $5.83
188 Gibraltar 11 $12.82 $3.21
189 Micronesia (Federated States of) 7 $12.87 $0.83
190 Guam 35 $12.97 $1.74
191 Virgin Islands (U.S.) 21 $13.10 $2.40
192 Norway 49 $13.21 $1.27
193 French Guiana 28 $13.41 $0.57
194 Liechtenstein 17 $13.95 $3.49
195 Portugal 25 $13.98 $2.12
196 Botswana 15 $14.12 $9.01
197 Dominica 25 $14.60 $6.17
198 Montserrat 17 $14.61 $4.93
199 Anguilla 23 $14.90 $1.97
200 Saint Kitts and Nevis 31 $15.05 $5.38
201 South Korea 15 $15.12 $0.47
202 Yemen 29 $15.73 $4.00
203 Mozambique 34 $15.82 $0.80
204 Greenland 3 $16.79 $12.60
205 New Caledonia 9 $16.91 $11.26
206 Trinidad and Tobago 7 $17.10 $9.79
207 Cook Islands 8 $18.12 $11.38
208 Virgin Islands (British) 42 $18.55 $5.83
209 Malta 29 $18.79 $2.26
210 Seychelles 23 $19.55 $3.66
211 Turkmenistan 7 $19.81 $10.01
212 Switzerland 12 $20.22 $8.30
213 Cyprus 13 $20.25 $6.39
214 Benin 16 $20.99 $17.24
215 French Polynesia 14 $21.64 $8.91
216 Turks and Caicos Islands 26 $23.09 $10.00
217 Chad 10 $23.33 $9.39
218 Tonga 8 $25.52 $4.43
219 Cayman Islands 26 $26.79 $3.99
220 Wallis and Fortuna 6 $26.86 $15.40
221 Nauru 5 $28.13 $12.25
222 Tokelau 15 $29.96 $17.06
223 Samoa 42 $30.09 $1.33
224 Greece 15 $32.71 $2.37
225 Bermuda 25 $37.74 $6.25
226 Djibouti 5 $37.92 $2.81
227 Falkland Islands 4 $47.39 $28.00
228 Saint Helena 4 $55.47 $51.70
229 Equatorial Guinea 12 $65.83 $27.58
230 Zimbabwe 37 $75.20 $12.50

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar Gadget

    Do we have any idea if these costs are “normalised” against the earnings/cost of living in the countries?

  2. Avatar CarlT

    Ah. So a couple of points.

    Cable.co.uk – nothing further on that.

    These are expressed in USD, no adjustment for Purchasing Power Parity. $20 US is somewhat more to someone in Bangladesh than someone here, and somewhat more here than someone in Switzerland.

    These numbers seem from another planet. About a fiver per gigabyte of mobile data? Did they go for the very lowest packages they could find, completely ignoring that those include tons of calls and texts so the incremental cost of the data is actually much lower?

    This is absolutely meaningless clickbait from Cable, however it is appropriate for Mark to report on these things as they do get eyeballs elsewhere and need his expert background and analysis.

    There go any chances I had of a job working for cable.co.uk…

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