Most expensive countries for data roaming

Data roaming worldwide generates a mind-boggling $42 billion annually

Photo credit: Pixabay

Using your phone overseas is called “international roaming”. It is one of the fastest ways to rack up an exorbitant phone bill if you are not prepared and you are in one of the most expensive countries for roaming. Check out most expensive countries for data roaming below.

The process actually involves two carriers, overseas network provider has a commercial agreement with your local mobile network provider and will bill your home network provider for the data you used while on their network.

Depending on your destination and the type of roaming available there, you will generally use your existing mobile number and mobile phone to make and receive calls, access voicemail and send and receive SMS.

To help raise awareness and spare you from bill shock roaming invoices, here is a list of some of the world’s most expensive destinations for mobile roaming.


Some of the most expensive countries for data roaming are:

South Africa

South Africa is a market in Southern Africa with 5 operators (Cell C,  MTN,  Rain, Vodacom)  and  87.6 million mobile connections.


Egypt is market in Northern Africa with 4 operators (Etisalat; Orange (ECMS) ; Vodafone; We (Telecom Egypt)  and 93.7 million mobile connections.


Perhaps a little unexpected, but definitely worth a mention. Canada is market in Northern America with 16 operators (Airtel Wireless, Bell (BCE), EastLink (Bragg Communications),  Fleetcom, Freedom Mobile (Shaw Communications), Ice Wireless, Keewaytinook Mobile, Lynx Mobility (OmniGlobe Networks), QINIQ (SSI Micro), Rogers, SaskTel,Tbaytel, Telus, TNW Wireless (Investel Capital) , Videotron (Quebecor Media), WestNet Wireless) and 30.5 million mobile connections.



China continually ranks as one of the most expensive places in the world to roam with your phone, with charges from some British networks breaching the £6 mark for a megabyte!

China is a market in Eastern Asia with 3 operators (China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom) and 1.3 billion mobile connections

The United States

In the U.S., providers AT&T and Verizon charge up to $20 per megabyte. Doesn’t sound terrifying? To put that into context, a 3-minute YouTube video would cost you a spine-chilling $100 or worse still, a movie streamed on your iPad would set you back $18,000.

United States of America is market in Northern America with 8 operators (AT&T , C Spire Wireless (Telapex), GCI,  Sprint (SoftBank) , T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) ,US Cellular (TDS), Verizon Wireless) and 340.6 million mobile connections.

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