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India offers cheapest mobile data plans in world: Report
The cheapest mobile data in Western Europe was found in Finland, where the average price of 1GB is $1.16. Monaco ($1.21) is the second cheapest in Western Europe followed by Denmark ($1.36) and Italy
According to a new report Price comparison site Cable.co.uk, India is home to the cheapest mobile data plans in the world, with one gigabyte (1GB) of data costing an average of $0.26, compared to USD 6.66 in the UK.
The most expensive place in the world to buy mobile data is Zimbabwe, where the average cost of 1GB is $75.20 - 289 times as much as in India.
"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 notes in its research.
"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," Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, said.
While India ($0.26) topped the scale of cheap mobile data, Kyrgyzstan ($0.27), Kazakstan ($0.49), Ukraine ($0.51) and Rwanda ($ 0.56) completed the top five countries offering the cheapest data packs.
The cheapest mobile data in Western Europe was found in Finland, where the average price of 1GB is $1.16. Monaco ($1.21) is the second cheapest in Western Europe followed by Denmark ($1.36) and Italy ($ 1.73).
The UK ($ 6.66) is the 16th cheapest in Western Europe and 136th cheapest in the world.
"At the more expensive end of the list, we have countries where often the infrastructure isn't great but also where consumption is very small. People are often buying data packages of just tens of megabytes at a time, making a gigabyte a relatively large and therefore expensive amount of data to buy," Howdle said.
The report also noted ten of the top 20 cheapest countries are in Asia, with Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Myanmar joining India in the top ten. The second, third and fourth cheapest countries are all (CIS) former USSR nations, with Kyrgyzstan missing out on top spot by one US cent.