Where Around the World Are People Paying the Most for Their Cell Phone Bill?

Isabella Roland • 05 Oct 2022 • 3 min read

In which parts of the world are people paying the most for their cell phone bill per month? The VoiceNation team mapped out the average cell phone data costs using worldwide mobile data pricing that Cable.co.uk found from analyzing more than 6,000 mobile data plans in 230 different countries. The numbers used in our comparison do not include additional charges that can be found on a cell phone bill, such as voice, text, or device fees and instead compare the monthly cost of a cell phone in terms of the cost of 1 gigabyte of data. The average amount of mobile data used per smartphone is projected to increase four-fold over the course of just six years. The worldwide average monthly amount of data used per smartphone was 9 GB in 2020 and is estimated to reach 35 GB by 2026. Will this huge increase in the amount of data used over the next few years have an effect on the cost of data around the world?

One country in Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have sky-high data costs, with an average of nearly $50 for just 1 gigabyte of mobile data, while on the other hand, a country in the Middle East has an extremely low average data cost of just $0.05 per GB. As you can imagine, this extreme variation in the cost of mobile data around the world will lead to some wildly different cell phone bills at the end of the month. 

How does the cost of data in the United States compare to the rest of the world? The average cost of data in the U.S. is $3.33 per GB, which is below the global average cost of $4.07 per GB. 

How much is 1 GB of data around the world? Read on to see where people are paying the most and the least for the mobile data portion of an average cell phone bill.

 

In depth graph of world map regarding how much a gigabyte costs around the world

Where in the World Does Mobile Data Cost the Most? 

Equatorial Guinea has the most expensive mobile data, with an average price of $49.67 per gigabyte (GB), which is 12 times the global average cost of data. Equatorial Guinea is just one of two parts of the world where the average price of 1 GB of data was more than $40, the other being the $44.56 per GB cost of data in the Falkland Islands. 

Sub-Saharan Africa contains Equatorial Guinea and an additional five of the top ten countries with the most expensive data costs in the world, although it also contains the place with the fifth-cheapest Internet data, Sudan. But why is the cost of mobile data so expensive in Sub-Saharan Africa? The main reason for the high data costs and more expensive cell phone bills in Sub-Saharan Africa is a lack of competition between mobile network operators. The price of a gigabyte of data was found to be higher in countries that only have two networks rather than in countries with more rival networks competing for business. 

The 20 Countries and Territories Where 1 GB of Mobile Data Costs the Most

  1. Equatorial Guinea: $49.67
  2. Falkland Islands: $44.56
  3. Saint Helena: $39.87
  4. São Tomé and Príncipe: $30.97
  5. Malawi: $25.46
  6. Chad: $23.33
  7. Namibia: $22.37
  8. Turkmenistan: $21.41
  9. Tokelau: $20.48
  10. Bermuda: $19.80
  11. Yemen: $15.98
  12. Cocos (Keeling) Islands: $13.47
  13. Cayman Islands: $11.97
  14. Caribbean Netherlands: $10.94
  15. Kiribati: $9.94
  16. Virgin Islands (British): $9.54
  17. Central African Republic: $9.03
  18. Cyprus: $8.84
  19. Seychelles: $8.64
  20. Greece: $8.16

Where in the World Does Mobile Data Cost the Least? 

Israel has the least expensive mobile data in the world, with an average price of just $0.05 per gigabyte of data. To put this low price into perspective, the global average cost for one GB of data is 80 times as much, while Equatorial Guinea’s data costs are nearly 1,000 times Israel’s cost of data. Nearly a quarter of the countries and territories were found to have low data costs that fell under the $1-per-gigabyte mark.

The 20 Countries and Territories Where 1 GB of Mobile Data Costs the Least

  1. Israel: $0.05
  2. Kyrgyzstan: $0.15
  3. Fiji: $0.19
  4. Italy: $0.27
  5. Sudan: $0.27
  6. Russia: $0.29
  7. Moldova: $0.32
  8. Bangladesh: $0.34
  9. Sri Lanka: $0.38
  10. Chile: $0.39
  11. France: $0.41
  12. Indonesia: $0.42
  13. Belarus: $0.43
  14. San Marino: $0.43
  15. Vietnam: $0.49
  16. Algeria: $0.51
  17. China: $0.52
  18. Samoa: $0.56
  19. Pakistan: $0.59
  20. Kazakhstan: $0.59

How does your country rank when it comes to the average cost of 1 GB of mobile data? 

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