INTRO: UK-based firm Cable.co.uk recently conducted a study by analyzing data from 5,554 mobile data plans across 228 countries between February 3 and February 25 to find the average cost of 1GB data. The study found that mobile data plans in India are the cheapest of the 228 countries.
Cable.co.uk claims that the average cost of 1GB data in India is $0.09. As TOI reports, this is almost 65 percent cheaper than the $0.3 per GB in 2018. The cheapest option was $0.02 and the most expensive one cost $2.75.
“As a country whose young population has a particularly high technological awareness, India offers a vibrant smartphone market, with strong adoption and many competitors. Data, therefore, is quite staggeringly cheap,” Cable.co.uk consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle told TOI.
Cable.co.uk found that the five most expensive countries for 1GB of data are São Tomé and Príncipe ($28.26), Bermuda ($28.75), Nauru ($30.47), Falkland Islands ($40.41) and Saint Helena ($52.50). The primary reason for such high prices is because all these are island nations. On the other hand, the cheapest offerings are found in India ($0.09), Israel ($0.11), Kyrgyzstan ($0.21), Italy ($0.43), and Ukraine ($0.46).
While these numbers portray an abstract idea of the internet cost, there are various external factors that influence these metrics such as the per capita income and the rate of currency inflation in these countries.
Although India offers relatively cheap data plans, the average internet speed takes a significant hit, as you might be well aware. In fact, according to Speedtest Global Index, India holds 127th position in mobile data speeds with an average speed of 12.08Mbps and 75th position in fixed broadband with an average speed of 40.45 Mbps as of July 2020.
India’s affordable mobile data can be largely attributed to Reliance Jio and its affordable calling and internet plans that forced the entire Indian telecom industry to adopt more competitive pricing to keep up.