India is the cheapest country in the world for mobile data, while 10 of the top 20 cheapest countries are in continental Asia, according to analysis from broadband price comparison site cable.co.uk.
Analysis of mobile data plans in the 230 countries with mobile broadband availability found that Indian operators offer an average price per 1GB of data of $0.26 – well below the global average of $8.53.
The analysis also shows that Asian countries made up half of the top 20 cheapest markets in the world, with the average price of 1GB of data being well over $1 in Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Malaysia ($1.18 per 1GB), Indonesia ($1.21), Bhutan ($1.25), Iran ($1.28) and Vietnam ($1.31) also made the top 20 list, and only three Asian countries are more expensive than the global average – Taiwan ($9.49), China ($9.89), and South Korea ($15.12).
The analysis did not include countries in the Oceania/Pacific region. Australia is by far the cheapest country in the region with average prices of $2.47 per 1GB. The most expensive market in the region is Samoa at $30.09.
“Many of the cheapest countries in which to buy mobile data fall roughly into one of two categories,” Cable.co.uk consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle said.
“Some have excellent mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure and so providers are able to offer large amounts of data, which brings down the price per gigabyte. Others with less advanced broadband networks are heavily reliant on mobile data and the economy dictates that prices must be low, as that’s what people can afford.”