The UK is one of the priciest countries in Europe for mobile phone data, with Britons typically paying almost six times more than their counterparts in Finland, according to a new study.
Some may also be surprised to see that the top 10 cheapest countries in the world include the likes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Sudan.
The analysis of mobile data plans in 230 countries revealed that the UK ranked a “disappointing” 136th when the cost of one gigabyte (1GB) of mobile data was looked at.
The typical UK cost was $6.66 (£5.15 before conversion to US dollars), which compares with $1.16 in Finland, $1.73 in Italy, $1.88 in Austria and $2.99 in France. However, several major European countries were more expensive than the UK, including Germany ($6.96), the Netherlands ($7.99) and Belgium ($12.30).
India is home to the world’s cheapest mobile data plans, with 1GB of data costing an average of $0.26, while the most expensive place is Zimbabwe, where the typical cost is $75.20 – 289 times as much.
The US is one of the costliest developed nations, coming in a lowly 182nd place, with an average 1GB costing $12.37. The survey of costs was conducted by Cable.co.uk, a broadband, TV and phone website that analysed more than 6,000 mobile data plans.
Dan Howdle, an analyst at the website, said: “When looking at the UK compared to our European and EU counterparts, it’s disappointing to see the UK among the most expensive countries for mobile data. Despite a healthy UK marketplace, our study has uncovered that EU nations such as Finland, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Austria and France pay a fraction of what we pay in the UK for similar data usage.”
He added: “It will be interesting to see how our position is affected post-Brexit.”
Among the countries propping up the bottom of the table were Greece, which was in 224th place, with a typical cost of just over $32, and three British overseas territories: Bermuda, Falkland Islands and Saint Helena (between $37 and $55).
Ten of the top 20 cheapest countries are in Asia, with Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Myanmar joining India in the top 10. Fifth- and sixth-cheapest were Rwanda and Sudan ($0.56 and $0.68 respectively).
Prices were recorded in the advertised currency, then converted to US dollars for comparison purposes, which means the data is affected by exchange rate fluctuations.
Howdle said some of the cheapest countries had excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure, while others had low prices dictated by their economy, as that was what people could afford.
The typical cost of 1GB of mobile data
1 India $0.26
2 Kyrgyzstan $0.27
3 Kazakhstan $0.49
4 Ukraine $0.51
5 Rwanda $0.56
6 Sudan $0.68
7 Sri Lanka $0.78
8 Mongolia $0.82
9 Myanmar $0.87
10 DRC $0.88
14 Finland $1.16
136 UK $6.66
182 United States $12.37
230 Zimbabwe $75.20