The price of products often vary around the world due to taxes, regulations, and cost of living. In many cases, that’s just a few tens of percents, but in some others the price may vary a lot more, as in many folds. For example, medicines are usually way more expensive in developed countries – and harder to buy -, and based on a study by Cable.co.uk, the price of 1GB mobile data varies massively across the world with India having the cheapest average cost of $0.26 US, and Zimbabwe the highest at $75.20.
Price varies a lot even for neighboring countries. So if you live in Geneva in Switzerland where the average price for 1GB is $20.22, it may pay off to get signal from France (if possible) where the average cost is only $2.99.
One should bear in mind that determining the average price of 1GB of mobile data is not that easy. The company gathered information from retail plans (business plans were excluded) from 230 countries, and adjusted the price for 1GB of data. So if a company offers a 500MB plan for $5, one GB of data would be $10, and a 10GB plan for $30 would convert to $3 per GB. To make matters more complicated, calls, SMS and some other services may be included in the plans. Some countries also have plans for unlimited data, so in that case, the company used the average data usage per user to determine the cost for one GB of data. The devil is also in the details, as for example where I live there are some unlimited plans that will throttle to almost dial-up modem speed (128 Kbps) once you exceed your “max speed” allowance (e.g. 1GB of data at 300 Mbps).
So with all those variations, the average price for 1GB of mobile data does not provide the full story. For example, 32 data plans were analyzed in the United States, and while the average was $12.37 per GB, prices ranged from $1.50 per GB up to $60 per GB.
The company did not provide the full data with lists of companies and plans, but you’ll find an excel spreadsheet with average, cheapest and most expensive plans per country, as well as an interactive map on Cable.co.uk where you can check the data for your own country.