How much 1 GB cost around the world?
Data from 6,313 mobile data plans in 230 countries were gathered and analysed by Cable.co.uk between 23 October and 28 November 2018.
India is home to the cheapest mobile data plans in the world, with one gigabyte (1GB) of data costing an average of USD 0.26. The most expensive place in the world to buy mobile data is Zimbabwe, where the average cost of 1GB is USD 75.20 – 289 times as much as in India. Kyrgyzstan is a close second to India with 1GB costing USD 0.27 on average. It’s followed by fellow Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR) countries Kazakhstan (USD 0.49) and Ukraine (USD 0.51) in third and fourth place, with Russia 12th on the list with an average 1GB cost of USD 0.91.
The cheapest mobile data in Western Europe is in Finland, where the average price of 1GB is USD 1.16. Monaco (USD 1.21) is the second cheapest in Western Europe followed by Denmark (USD 1.36) and Italy (USD 1.73). The UK (USD 6.66) is the 16th cheapest in Western Europe and 136th cheapest in the world.
Within Eastern Europe, Poland (USD 1.32) is the cheapest followed by Romania (USD 1.89), Slovenia (USD 2.21) and Moldova (USD 2.82). Greece is the most expensive in the region, with 1GB of data costing USD 32.71 on average. Of the Baltic nations, Lithuania is the cheapest at USD 2.06.
Israel is the cheapest country in the Near East region, with 1GB costing an average of USD 0.90. Jordan (USD 1.79) is second on the list, closely followed by Kuwait (USD 2.01) and Palestine (2.06). The most expensive mobile data deals in the region can be found in Cyprus, where the average price of 1GB is USD 20.25.
Asian nations make up half of the top 20 cheapest countries for mobile data, with India top and Sri Lanka (USD 0.78), Mongolia (USD 0.82) and Myanmar (USD 0.87) also in the top ten. Only three Asian countries are more expensive than the global average of USD 8.53 – Taiwan (USD 9.49), China (USD 9.89) and South Korea, the most expensive in the region at USD 15.12.
All North African countries are in the cheapest half of the table. Egypt is the cheapest in North Africa at USD 1.49 and even the most expensive in the region, Algeria (USD 5.15), is below the global average.
Sub-Saharan Africa has three countries among the top ten cheapest in the world – Rwanda (USD 0.56), Sudan (USD 0.68) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (USD 0.88). The region also has four of the six most expensive countries on the list, with
Zimbabwe joined by Equatorial Guinea (USD 65.83), Saint Helena (USD 55.47) and Djibouti (USD 37.92).
The average price of 1GB of mobile data in both Canada (USD 12.02) and the United States (USD 12.37) is more than the global average of USD 8.53. But the most expensive country in North America is Bermuda with an average of USD 37.74.
The cheapest mobile data plans in Central America can be found in Guatemala, where 1GB of data costs USD 4.53 on average. Prices are only marginally higher in El Salvador (USD 4.55) and Belize (4.57). The most expensive country in Central America is Mexico, where an average 1GB costs USD 7.38.
Most Caribbean nations are in the more expensive half of the list. The Cayman Islands are the most expensive in the Caribbean with an average of USD 26.79, while an average 1GB in the Dominican Republic is 14 times cheaper at USD 1.88. Chile, with an average of USD 1.87, is the only South American country to make it into the top 50 cheapest in the world.
Peru (USD 2.48) is the next cheapest in South America followed by Uruguay (USD 2.80). The most expensive in the region is the
Falkland Islands at USD 47.39.
The average 1GB of data costs USD 2.47 in Australia, making it the cheapest country in Oceania. The region’s island nations are mostly in the more expensive half of the table, with Samoa the most expensive at USD 30.09.
In previous reports, Cable.co.uk has analysed more than 163m broadband speed tests to rank 200 countries by average internet speed, and has compared 3,303 broadband deals to reveal the cost of getting online in 195 countries.
Commenting on the mobile data research, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, 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.
“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 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.”