Cost of Mobile Data Around the World

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, 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.

Cost of mobile internet per country

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).

United States Cost 1GB Cellular Data

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 where you can check the data for your own country.

Via Electronics Weekly

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27 Replies to “Cost of Mobile Data Around the World”

  1. “The price of products often vary around the world due to taxes, regulations, and cost of living.”

    Are not the price of products an influence on the cost of living?

    In all Western economies, many consumer “branded” items are priced not according to the cost of production, level of taxes, intrinsic value, but simply the price that sufficient numbers of consumers will pay, regardless of how overpriced the item really is and until it goes out of fashion or becomes obsolete.

    For example, it does not matter that an iPhone model may cost more than EUR/USD 1000, the Apple consumer has to have the latest one to be one of the cool people. Just wait a few more years for the EUR/USD 2000 priced ones.

    Pharmaceutical products are another example — approximately USD 6 to produce a vial of insulin, but the cost to the consumer is about USD 300. So long as people keep paying, the prices keep rising out of proportion to their cost of production.

    1. Pharmaceutical products are highly regulated, and as I understand it, it’s illegal to import medicines by yourself to the US for instance, even for your own “consumption”.

    2. >approximately USD 6 to produce a vial of insulin, but the cost to the consumer is about USD 300.

      That’s what happens when you let insurance companies drive a whole market from producer to consumer.
      I’m a free market guy, if someone wants to pay $1000 for a phone that cost $100 to make that’s up to them, but I’m surprised some people can sleep at night knowing they’ve driven many people to medical bankruptcy or death to make a better margin from a single person that has decent health insurance.

        1. But, that makes no sense for me. You don’t think about people who are belong to your world, but you will always depend on people to do everything, even if you’re the richest person on earth. I can’t comprehend how a human being can’t feel anything for another human being, it’s against any living nature meaning to harm whatever it is around you if you depend on it.

    3. Try dealing with the FDA, and you might change your mind…there are huge upfront costs to get drugs approved

  2. Switzerland:
    Graph says 20 USB per GB.
    Lycamobile costs CHF19 (=19 USD = 18 eur) for 10 GB, so 2 USB per GB…

    1. The cheapest they have found was $8.30 per GB in Switzerland.
      Lycamobile CHF19 plan looks to be unlimited, so they may have used the average data usage to calculate the cost.

      1. Well it largely depends on the plan, with aldi mobile, no option, one GB is 90$. With special offers you can get real unlimited plans (voice, data, sms) from 20 to 30$ monthly. Pure data plans with speeds comaparable to JIO in India you can get for 10$ a month (Sunrise IOT plan for Smartwatches). So if you want you never pay 20 per GB…

    2. And to make matters worse, list prices basically don’t apply. Most telcos run massive sales extremely often and/or offer much cheaper corporate rates (my unlimited 100mbit including texts and voice is not much more than what they claim for the 1 gb on the corporate rate).

      This study looks like utter garbage.

    3. Latvia, Europe – they say average is $7.12 while actually you get __unlimited__ for $11.12 or even less, try calculating average for that. If you really want just 1GB (most expensive option), that will be $4.12 or less.

      1. In their “methodology” document, they explain that for unlimited plans they use the average usage per user instead.

  3. Here in India..normal mobile lte plan states as around rs400 or usd 5-6 80-90 days with 1.5 gb per day. And with same 8mbps unlimited monthly broadband. Or usd10 40 mbps with upto 40gb + 500gb to 1Tb free bonus data.and all with free voice calling….or further plans add high speed.

    1. And all was just since 2016. As before that prices were usd 4=1gb. Then price wars started on massive level. Its shows prices can be slashed but operators keep them high unless really needed or forced. As same operators are providing these prices without any issues or T&C.

      1. The price wars just killed half the operators, together with the govts. witch-hunt after the 2G scam. And don’t even mention the money TRAI wants for spectrum. Huge capacity problems are just around the corner…

  4. Looks like it’s cheap in India but is it actually any good? Does that 30 cent GB of traffic take a whole week to actually use?

    1. It depends on day-time and location, also telecom circle plays a role.

      But in general its quite usable.

  5. Mmm I know for a fact that data is much cheaper than that in France. Taking the average of offered plans is stupid, you should use the average of what people pays. Because a lot of plans are weird niche overpriced plans with no users.

    Most people here pay between 10 and 20 euros a month for 50Gb.

  6. An unlimited 100 Mbit/s 4G mobile data connection costs 17.90 Euros/month in Finland. I have measured max in&out to be 70 Mbit/s.

  7. Is it good or bad that Italy is on top? Uhm…

    Anyway in italy we don’t only have DATA for that price we also have Calls and SMS.
    For example I pay: 5.99EUR for:
    30GB, Infinite minute of calls and Infinite SMS.
    The 4G speed is not bad for the price.

    With another Provider (More high in terms of quality) I pay:
    12EUR for 10 GB of data,
    1000 minutes for calls
    200 SMS.

    In this case the quality and de coverage is at a different level. This means more speed over 4G.

    But at the end of the day the real importat thing is the coverage; And both, even if one of the tree is the top 3 on italy, still sucks.
    Especially where I live with “tall” buildings, lot of water, and 50cm wide street: AKA Venice.

  8. US plans are heavily weighted towards unlimited. If you want pre-paid, you’ll pay a lot more ($12/GB isn’t out of line).
    For Unlimited, limits before throttling have been going up (50GB on some plans).
    My main mobile data is unlimited for a MiFi, $40/per month – and I checked my usage, so since I typically use ~20GB/month, I’m paying $2/GB.

  9. in .pl we have free product called aero2, limited to 512kbit/s bandwidth and 1h captcha. but otherwise it’s free, so you can get gigabytes of data daily. other than that there are unlimited data plans without GB caps limited to ~20mbit/s for ~15usd, ~60mbit/s for ~20usd. there are also packages with unlimited voice+10GB data/month cap for ~7usd

  10. Interesting, LOTS of countries left out. I heard Japan was super expensive, but cut 40% this year due to new telecom laws? have to check. Indonesia I presume is pretty cheap…here is current promos from Telekomsel (Telkomsel Data – 100.000 2.5GB to 4.5GB data + 2GB 4G data bonus + 2GB midnight data bonus + 5GB VideoMax bonus (based on zone info). Rp 100.000/USD 7)

  11. I was wondering if there would be a way to hack the roaming rules, to get better data deals in an another country, with a virtual SIM card that is virtually roaming between 2 countries (one night in one country, the day in another).

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