We’ve all complained about the price of mobile data, although to be fair, Malaysian telcos offer some pretty good deals these days. Regardless, have you ever wondered how much mobile data costs around the world? Thanks to the folks over at Visual Capitalist, we now have an idea of how much people have to pay for access to mobile data networks—and how varied pricing can be from country to country, and region to region.
The following infographic showcases the average cost of 1GB of mobile data, across 155 countries and jurisdictions:
As the chart explains, the least expensive places to buy 1GB of mobile data include countries from all over the world (surprised?). You have Israel, who is the second most affordable region, while Italy makes a surprising entrance on this list—and India is the least expensive place to buy 1GB of mobile data. Visual Capitalist explains that this low cost of data in the country can be attributed to India’s “intense” market competition, while the existing fixed line infrastructure in the country helps to keep costs down; it’s a similar case with Italy.
Meanwhile, the most expensive countries for mobile data are mostly located on the African continent, with Malawi topping the list at USD 27.41 (~RM112), followed by Benin, Chad, Yemen, and Botswana. All of which serves to highlight the vast difference for access to mobile data in various countries—a 30,000 percent difference in pricing, basically.
The report identifies four key factors when it comes to mobile data cost:
- Existing infrastructure
- Reliance on mobile data
- Low data consumption
- Average income of consumers
When it comes to India, and its cheap mobile data prices, Visual Capitalist predicts a rise in pricing at some point in the future. Here’s an excerpt that explains this:
“Why is data so cheap in India? A significant factor is the country’s intense market competition, driven by Reliance Jio—a telecom company owned by Reliance Industries, one of the largest conglomerates in India. Reliance Jio launched in 2016, offering customers free trial periods and plans for less than a $1 a month. This forced other providers to drop their pricing, driving down the overall cost of data in the region. Because these prices are likely unsustainable for the long term, India’s cheaper-than-usual prices may soon come to an end.”– Visual Capitalist report
So, what about Malaysia? If you look very, very closely at the infographic, you’ll spot the Malaysian flag somewhere along the third tier of countries from the bottom of the chart. This means that Malaysia has some of the more affordable mobile data pricing available, which certainly bodes well for all of us here in Malaysia.
You can read the full report from Visual Capitalist here.
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