India has the cheapest mobile data in the world at Rs 18.5 or $0.26 for 1GB compared to global average of $8.53 or around Rs 600 per GB, reveals a research by Cable.co.uk. Other countries worldwide with data prices less than a dollar include Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Cable.co.uk compared mobile data charges in 230 countries from 6,313 mobile data plans between the period of October 23 and November 28 last year. In India, it compared a total of 57 data plans. Zimbabwe’s was the most expensive at $75.20 for 1GB data.
The research points out that the cheapest 1GB data was available for as low as $0.02 or around Rs 1.75 in the country, while the most expensive was $1.40 or Rs 99.9 approximately per GB. In the UK and the US, the average mobile data charges are $6.66 and $12.37 respectively.
The aggressive mobile data prices in India can be attributed to the entry of Reliance Jio 4G phone services in 2016, which sparked a price war. The company offers free voice calls along with cheap data prices, forcing rivals like Vodafone and Airtel to slash their data plan rates as well.
“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,” the research notes.
India is followed by Kyrgyzstan, Kazakstan and Ukraine where mobile data rate per GB are $0.27, $0.49, and $0.51 respectively. The average data cost of 1GB data in China is $9.89, while that in Sri Lanka is $0.87 respectively. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, 1GB is available for $0.99 and $1.85 respectively.