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What Does 1GB of Mobile Data Cost in Different Countries?

Every day, billions of people all over the world depend on their cell phones. Mobile networks have continued to expand their scope despite a saturated market. Almost one billion people have gained access to mobile data services in the last five years alone. Even though these networks are becoming more popular around the world, the cost of access varies greatly from country to country, especially when it comes to the cost of mobile data. Despite the mobile economy’s global reach, it’s obvious that it still has a long way to go until it achieves full accessibility.

Why The Difference In Mobile Data Costs?

Researchers have discovered several main factors that lead to the cost differences in mobile data between countries:

  1. Existing infrastructure (or lack thereof): Many mobile networks depend on a fixed-line link, which may seem counterintuitive. As a result, countries with existing networks may offer lower-cost mobile plans with more data.   Countries with little to no infrastructure rely on more expensive connection solutions such as satellites, which are usually passed on to consumers.
  2. Dependency on mobile data: Adoption can become nearly universal when mobile data becomes the primary source of internet in a given area. Because of the high demand, there are more competing suppliers, which reduces the price. Kyrgyzstan is an excellent example.
  3. Low data consumption: Data is used less in countries with weak infrastructure. With lower data caps on mobile plans, the total average cost per GB appears to be higher. Malawi and Benin are two countries that have experienced this phenomenon.
  4. The average income of consumers: Since the population can generally afford to pay more and the expense of running a network is higher, relatively wealthy countries prefer to charge more for mobile services. This can be seen in places like Canada and Germany.

The Cheapest Countries for 1 GB of Data

Even among the cheapest countries for mobile data, there is a large price difference. The top five cheapest countries for 1 GB of data are as follows:

Overall RankCountryAverage price of 1GB (USD)
1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India9ยข
2๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel11ยข
3๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Kyrgyzstan21ยข
4๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy43ยข
5๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine46ยข

India is the lowest, with a price of $0.09 per GB, a 65 percent reduction from the country’s average rate in 2019.

Why is data in India so cheap? The country’s fierce market rivalry, fueled by Reliance Jio, a telecom company backed by Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest conglomerates, is a significant factor. Reliance Jio first opened its doors in 2016, offering customers free trial periods and monthly plans for less than a dollar. Other companies were forced to lower their prices as a result, lowering the overall cost of data in the country.

India’s cheaper-than-usual rates will quickly come to an end, as these prices are unlikely to be sustainable in the long run.

Kyrgyzstan is another country worth noting, as it is the third cheapest at $0.21 per GB, ahead of Italy and Ukraine. Given the country’s lack of fixed-line infrastructure and large rural population, this ranking is surprising. The low cost is thought to be due to Kyrgyzstan’s strong dependence on mobile data as the population’s primary internet source.

Cheapest Countries for 1 GB of Data

The Most Expensive Countries for 1 GB of Data

On the other hand, the top five most expensive countries for a gigabyte of mobile data are as follows:

Overall RankCountryAverage price of 1GB (USD)
151๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ Botswana$13.87
152๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช Yemen$15.98
153๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ Chad$23.33
154๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ Benin$27.22
155๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ Malawi$27.41

Four out of the top five most costly countries for mobile data are in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which is worth remembering .

The lack of infrastructure in SSA is a major factor in the high cost of data. Because of the region’s overburdened networks, data bundles are usually smaller. As compared to countries with limitless packages, this raises the average cost per GB.

The lack of market competition is another factor that leads to SSA’s high costs. The cost of data skews lower in countries with many competitive networks, such as Nigeria.

Most Expensive Countries for 1 GB of Data

Will we ever reach a point where all countries have equal access to information, or will the technological divide between them continue to widen?

With the growth of 5G networks, only seven countries are projected to account for the bulk of 5G investments. What this means for adoption around the world we have to wait and see.

Aum Vyas
Aum is following his passion in learning about modern technologies. And when he is not busy you can find him binge watching shows and vibing to music.
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