For smartphone users fond of streaming, mobile data can come with a hefty price tag. The cost varies heavily between different countries and a new analysis of mobile data prices by UK-based price comparison website cable.co.uk shows where a gigabyte of data is cheapest and most expensive. The analysis focused on 6,313 data plans in 230 countries with India being named the cheapest. Indian smartphone users only have to pay $0.26 for a gigabyte of data, ahead of Kyrgyzstan ($0.27) and Kazakhstan ($0.49).
Zimbabwe is at the opposite end of the affordability scale with a gigabyte of data averaging $75.20, a whopping 289 times as much as in India. The following infographic provides an overview of pricing in 15 selected countries with disparities immediately evident in Europe. For example, one gigabyte of data in Italy averages $1.73 while the same amount costs nearly $7 in Germany. People have to pay even more in North America with a gigabyte costing an average of $12.02 in Canada and $12.38 in the United States.
Even though South Korea has developed an exceptional mobile network in recent years, its prices are still extortionate at $15 a gigabyte. Smartphone users in Seoul should spare a thought for the Swiss, however, with costs there in excess of $20. Dan Howdle, a consumer telecoms analyst at cable.co.uk, commented on the findings by saying that many of cheapest countries have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure which allows providers to offer large amounts of data at cheap prices. In some countries, economic conditions dictate the price which has to remain low so people can afford it.