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UK vs EU – The 2020 Average Cost of Mobile Data Tariffs Compared

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 (2:14 pm) - Score 1,887
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The latest report from Point Topic has revealed some big variations in 4G and 5G (Mobile Broadband) based data pricing and usage allowances across Europe, with consumers in the United Kingdom generally placing about mid-table. But other countries seem to offer faster mobile speeds.

We should point out that the telecoms analyst has used $US Dollars for their report and applied a measure of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which enables them to make direct comparisons of tariffs across the world by adjusting the local currency and exchange rate to make the buying power of $1 (PPP) in country A equal to $1 (PPP) in country B (note: £1 = $1.33 at today’s rate).

NOTE: This analysis is based on more than 800 tariffs from all major mobile broadband providers from the EU-28, Norway and Switzerland.

Otherwise the study found that the average monthly charge for a residential 4G or 5G service varied from a high of $73.62 in Greece to just $17.27 in Italy, with the United Kingdom just edging itself into the cheaper half of the table on $33.67.

Elsewhere the UK delivered an average data allowance of 112.5GB (GigaBytes) and a related average cost per GB of data of $0.30, which once again placed us more into the favourable half of the table.

point_topic_q2_2020_eu_mobile_data_cost_and_use

At this point it’s noted that only a few countries offer mobile plans with “unlimited data” usage and they’ve been put into a separate table. Customers paid $54.84 for an entry-level unlimited data plan in Sweden (most expensive), while in Switzerland they were charged just $15.57 (cheapest). Once again the UK placed roughly mid-table in the results.

point_topic_q2_2020_eu_unlimited_data_cost

The full report also includes some data on the “average theoretical downstream speed” of residential mobile broadband services in each country, which puts the UK near the bottom in terms of performance. However, this appears to be based more on headline or theoretical capability than actual performance, which isn’t much use when considering the highly variable nature of mobile connectivity.

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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.
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5 Responses
  1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    “The full report also includes some data on the “average theoretical downstream speed” of residential mobile broadband services in each country, which puts the UK near the bottom in terms of performance. However, this appears to be based more on headline or theoretical capability than actual performance, which isn’t much use when considering the highly variable nature of mobile connectivity.”

    Probably should end with……

    “Which isn’t much use when considering the lack of investment in both back-haul and bandwidth availability across different mobile carriers cores over the last decade in the UK.”

  2. Avatar Billy says:

    Odd, I used to live in the Netherlands and their networks were way more expensive than ours and with such limited amounts of data. I haven’t actually seen an unlimited one advertised anywhere (not saying they don’t exist, but i’ve not seen them advertised).

    I think though, one issue is people don’t shop around. For example, I just moved from three to vodafone, and I got 120GB of data for £9 a month after cashback and incentives but the same contract direct from VF would have been £20 a month.

    Now let’s do speed. In Sweden I can get 250mbit/s easily. In UK? well .. not so much. Best I’ve had was 110 in Central London. Funnily enough I have a 5G handset too but have yet to see a 5G signal, maybe when I go back to the office next month i’ll see it.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      I think the odd country beats us because they’re richer than we are. The pricing is adjusted for purchasing power so somewhere like Switzerland with a per capita PPP adjusted GDP of nearly $70k, Netherlands at over $60k, Ireland at $86k or Norway at $80k can charge more while being cheaper as the UK’s wealth per person is lower at a fair bit less than $50k.

    2. Avatar James says:

      I pay £2.00 unlimited data 600 minutes with 3 network haggled this iphone 11 Pro sim free. £5.00 3 network 8gb unlimited text minutes Galaxy s20 sim free. Home broadband £8.00 3 network unlimited everything sim in tplink 4G router total cost £15

    3. Avatar Leex says:

      Prices don’t include cashback websites deals in this report

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