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UK Ranks 78 Out of 230 Countries for Price of 1GB Mobile Data

Friday, April 9th, 2021 (3:28 pm) - Score 1,320
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A new study has analysed 6,148 mobile data (mobile broadband) plans from across 230 countries in order to compare the cost of a 1GB (GigaByte) data allowance, which found that the United Kingdom has seen its position fall from 59th last year to 78th in 2021, with an average price of USD $1.42 per GB (up from $1.39).

By comparison the United States (USA) came out of Cable.co.uk‘s latest study as “one of the most expensive developed nations for purchasing mobile data“, coming in at 154th in the world (better than last year’s 188th), and with an average 1GB cost of $3.33 – although this is below the global average of $4.07 (down from $5.09 last year). Meanwhile, the cheapest country is Israel ($0.05 per GB) and the most expensive came out as Equatorial Guinea ($49.67 per GB).

NOTE: At the time of this report the USD to UK exchange rate was $1.37 to £1 (e.g. $1.42 = £1.03 in the table).

In terms of why the United Kingdom has seen such a big fall, the report points vaguely to COVID-19 and the 5G rollout as possible causes without much substantiation, but so far as we can tell neither of those has had a negative impact on data allowances. But 5G has encouraged a rise in “unlimited data” plans from many more operators than last year, which is something that this sort of study cannot properly reflect.

As usual though there is another significant catch to this study because, so far as we can tell, the average prices do not appear to have been weighted in order to reflect the often huge differences in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) between countries. In other words, take these results with a big pinch of salt, although they may still be useful for understanding different markets.

The application of PPP is vitally important because there can be massive differences between countries in terms of things like taxation, infrastructure standards or deployment costs and salaries etc. Put another way, you might well pay significantly less for 1GB of data in some countries, but that’s not always a balanced comparison.

We should add that several countries are missing from this report (North Korea, Eritrea etc.) due to either a lack of publicly available data or a lack of comparable data types. Furthermore, 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.

The 2021 Average Cost of 1GB (Mobile Data) by Country

Rank Country Avg. Price of 1GB (2021) Avg. Price of 1GB (2020)
1 Israel $0.05 $0.11
2 Kyrgyzstan $0.15 $0.21
3 Fiji $0.19 $0.59
4 Italy $0.27 $0.43
5 Sudan $0.27 $0.63
6 Russian Federation $0.29 $0.52
7 Moldova $0.32 $1.12
8 Bangladesh $0.34 $0.70
9 Sri Lanka $0.38 $0.51
10 Chile $0.39 $0.71
11 France $0.41 $0.81
12 Indonesia $0.42 $0.64
13 Belarus $0.43 $0.89
14 San Marino $0.43 $1.16
15 Vietnam $0.49 $0.57
16 Algeria $0.51 $0.65
17 China $0.52 $0.61
18 Samoa $0.56 $10.86
19 Pakistan $0.59 $0.69
20 Kazakhstan $0.59 $0.46
21 Uzbekistan $0.60 $1.34
22 Somalia $0.60 $0.50
23 Mongolia $0.60 $0.74
24 Nepal $0.61 $0.86
25 Turkey $0.63 $0.72
26 Poland $0.64 $0.70
27 Ghana $0.66 $0.94
28 India $0.68 $0.09
29 Australia $0.70 $0.68
30 Libya $0.74 $4.73
31 Ukraine $0.75 $0.46
32 Tanzania $0.75 $0.73
33 Mauritius $0.75 $2.48
34 Réunion $0.76 $0.72
35 Armenia $0.76 $1.05
36 Myanmar $0.78 $0.78
37 Denmark $0.79 $0.80
38 Kuwait $0.81 $0.77
39 Mayotte $0.82 $1.08
40 Cambodia $0.83 $1.50
41 Bhutan $0.83 $1.16
42 Haiti $0.85 $2.74
43 Nigeria $0.88 $1.39
44 Western Sahara $0.88 $0.99
45 Morocco $0.88 $0.99
46 Malaysia $0.89 $1.12
47 Guadeloupe $0.89 $2.42
48 Cameroon $0.90 $2.75
49 Brazil $0.92 $1.01
50 Senegal $0.94 $3.30
51 Nicaragua $0.94 $1.71
52 Macedonia $0.96 $1.75
53 Finland $0.97 $2.14
54 Afghanistan $1.02 $1.55
55 Egypt $1.04 $1.09
56 Ecuador $1.06 $3.24
57 Thailand $1.06 $1.23
58 Monaco $1.08 $0.98
59 Tunisia $1.09 $1.37
60 Singapore $1.09 $2.47
61 Djibouti $1.12 $1.12
62 Zambia $1.13 $1.36
63 Iraq $1.14 $4.20
64 Peru $1.15 $2.13
65 Austria $1.17 $1.08
66 Romania $1.18 $1.03
67 Iceland $1.23 $1.46
68 Spain $1.24 $1.81
69 Rwanda $1.25 $1.48
70 Tonga $1.28 $3.41
71 Niger $1.28 $3.30
72 Serbia $1.30 $1.60
73 Jersey $1.32 $1.71
74 El Salvador $1.33 $1.45
75 Lithuania $1.38 $1.85
76 Estonia $1.39 $1.27
77 Jordan $1.41 $1.03
78 United Kingdom $1.42 $1.39
79 Ireland $1.42 $1.36
80 Sweden $1.45 $2.07
81 Guernsey $1.46 $1.24
82 Saudi Arabia $1.47 $2.12
83 Uruguay $1.51 $1.58
84 Dominican Republic $1.51 $0.74
85 Iran $1.52 $0.75
86 Uganda $1.56 $1.62
87 Honduras $1.56 $3.12
88 French Guiana $1.58 $3.61
89 Angola $1.61 $5.29
90 Palau $1.67 $2.50
91 Timor-Leste $1.67 $2.08
92 Hungary $1.70 $5.32
93 Palestine, State of $1.71 $3.26
94 Ethiopia $1.71 $2.44
95 Slovenia $1.72 $1.48
96 Dominica $1.76 $4.92
97 Philippines $1.77 $1.42
98 Georgia $1.80 $0.93
99 Isle of Man $1.80 $1.66
100 Azerbaijan $1.82 $1.86
101 Trinidad and Tobago $1.90 $5.92
102 Macau $1.93 $2.89
103 Guatemala $1.94 $2.17
104 Suriname $1.94 $4.92
105 Guinea $1.99 $2.08
106 American Samoa $2.00 $2.50
107 Virgin Islands (U.S.) $2.00 $4.67
108 Malta $2.01 $3.62
109 Burundi $2.10 $2.12
110 Bahrain $2.12 $2.27
111 Oman $2.12 $4.58
112 Montenegro $2.12 $3.94
113 Guam $2.14 $2.00
114 Northern Mariana Islands $2.15 $2.65
115 Bolivia $2.18 $5.09
116 Brunei Darussalam $2.23 $2.64
117 Eswatini $2.24 $13.31
118 Kenya $2.25 $1.05
119 Papua New Guinea $2.26 $5.40
120 Bulgaria $2.26 $2.22
121 Hong Kong $2.30 $2.55
122 Croatia $2.35 $2.48
123 Costa Rica $2.36 $2.74
124 Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) $2.36 $4.06
125 Argentina $2.38 $1.45
126 Bosnia and Herzegovina $2.39 $3.04
127 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $2.41 $3.33
128 Grenada $2.44 $5.37
129 Paraguay $2.53 $2.30
130 Côte d’Ivoire $2.58 $3.20
131 Liberia $2.59 $3.25
132 Tajikistan $2.60 $4.65
133 Saint Lucia $2.62 $3.27
134 Faroe Islands $2.64 $2.41
135 Lesotho $2.66 $2.13
136 South Africa $2.67 $4.30
137 Jamaica $2.74 $3.88
138 Åland Islands $2.75 $3.24
139 Gibraltar $2.78 $7.38
140 Mozambique $2.79 $3.33
141 Albania $2.80 $2.83
142 Colombia $2.80 $3.46
143 Congo $2.88 $1.94
144 Belize $2.97 $3.25
145 Luxembourg $3.00 $3.89
146 Liechtenstein $3.10 $4.01
147 The Netherlands $3.11 $2.98
148 Lao People’s Democratic Republic $3.19 $4.16
149 Qatar $3.20 $4.12
150 Comoros $3.21 $4.38
151 Maldives $3.24 $3.88
152 Sierra Leone $3.26 $3.69
153 Mali $3.28 $4.12
154 United States $3.33 $8.00
155 Germany $3.38 $4.06
156 Japan $3.38 $3.91
157 Saint-Martin (France) $3.46 $3.32
158 Martinique $3.46 $2.60
159 Latvia $3.49 $3.79
160 Cook Islands $3.50 NO PACKAGES
161 Slovakia $3.55 $3.84
162 Benin $3.61 $27.22
163 Mexico $3.62 $4.77
164 Saint Kitts and Nevis $3.70 $11.07
165 Portugal $3.85 $4.97
166 Anguilla $3.85 $5.92
167 Botswana $3.92 $13.87
168 Greenland $3.97 $9.56
169 Puerto Rico $4.00 $9.17
170 Montserrat $4.01 $8.33
171 Sint Maarten $4.17 $4.66
172 French Polynesia $4.20 $15.42
173 Guinea-Bissau $4.41 $4.12
174 Antigua and Barbuda $4.44 $7.17
175 Aruba $4.44 $9.11
176 Panama $4.49 $6.69
177 Burkina Faso $4.52 $2.47
178 Svalbard and Jan Mayen $4.65 $5.90
179 Togo $4.69 $4.50
180 South Korea $4.72 $10.94
181 Cape Verde $4.78 $4.81
182 Lebanon $4.81 $3.82
183 Gabon $4.82 $4.89
184 Madagascar $5.14 $8.81
185 Switzerland $5.24 $8.38
186 Guyana $5.25 $5.46
187 Belgium $5.28 $4.88
188 Mauritania $5.56 $4.63
189 Taiwan $5.67 $5.91
190 Canada $5.72 $12.55
191 Norway $5.81 $5.28
192 Gambia $5.86 $5.10
193 Bahamas $5.98 $6.02
194 Vanuatu $6.06 $4.25
195 Tuvalu $6.35 NO PACKAGES
196 Curaçao $6.47 $11.06
197 New Caledonia $6.49 $4.81
198 Barbados $6.79 $9.32
199 New Zealand $6.99 $6.06
200 Syria $7.15 $6.55
201 Niue $7.37 $4.50
202 Andorra $7.49 $9.54
203 Cuba $7.50 $13.33
204 British Indian Ocean Territory $7.50 $7.50
205 United Arab Emirates $7.62 $3.78
206 Nauru $7.62 $30.47
207 Solomon Islands $7.83 $8.53
208 Micronesia (Federated States of) $7.85 $7.20
209 Turks and Caicos Islands $8.00 $13.33
210 Czech Republic $8.15 $7.95
211 Greece $8.16 $12.06
212 Seychelles $8.64 $11.43
213 Cyprus $8.84 $13.56
214 Central African Republic $9.03 $8.25
215 Virgin Islands (British) $9.54 $12.50
216 Kiribati $9.94 $10.50
217 Caribbean Netherlands $10.94 $9.95
218 Cayman Islands $11.97 $23.05
219 Cocos (Keeling) Islands $13.47 $16.98
220 Yemen $15.98 $15.98
221 Bermuda $19.80 $28.75
222 Tokelau $20.48 $17.75
223 Turkmenistan $21.41 $11.44
224 Namibia $22.37 $4.78
225 Chad $23.33 $23.33
226 Malawi $25.46 $27.41
227 São Tomé and Príncipe $30.97 $28.26
228 Saint Helena $39.87 $52.50
229 Falkland Islands $44.56 $40.41
230 Equatorial Guinea $49.67 $12.78

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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
5 Responses
  1. FibreBubble says:

    lifted from Cable.Co.Uk

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Thought I linked that in the 2nd paragraph, corrected.

  2. Jimmy says:

    How is New Zealand below the Cook Islands? I lived there for 6 months and never paid less than $50nzd for 3GB. Fixed line was only available through BluSky WiFi and was taken from your mobile allowance too

    Whilst in NZ, I paid $25/month for the same, and ofc did not include fixed line.

    1. JP says:

      It don’;t seem right to me either, but I don’t care any more, seems like these surveys are just generated to get people pissing and moaning for no reason.

    2. Bubbles says:

      JP I think mobilefreak will be attacking Israel’s networks next 😉

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