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How does Falklands figure in the Cable.co.uk global mobile data purchasing report

Wednesday, September 27th 2023 - 08:30 UTC
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According to Cable.co.uk Israel is the cheapest market in the world, mobile customers being able to pick up 1 GB of mobile data for just US$0.02. According to Cable.co.uk Israel is the cheapest market in the world, mobile customers being able to pick up 1 GB of mobile data for just US$0.02.

The latest Cable.co.uk worldwide mobile data purchasing report shows that developed nations plus countries such as Israel, enjoy the cheapest pricing, while at the other end of a long list, figure Zimbabwe, the Falkland Islands, and Saint Helena.

The report takes the average cost of 1 GB of mobile data in the United States, at US$ 6.00 stateside, which is way above most other nations, particularly the more developed ones, EU, China. The bottom of the ranking – there are 237 countries included in all--, which puts the US way off the pace is mainly populated by less developed nations and small island groups, as you might expect.

The pricey end of the mobile data table also includes South Korea, Canada and New Zealand in 214th, 216th and 218th places respectively. Canadians have been complaining about high prices for years, despite the authorities’ insistence that market competition is healthy – and Switzerland at 226th, thanks to an average cost for 1 GB of data of the equivalent of US$7.29.

However the very bottom spot in the table belongs to Zimbabwe, where 1 GB of data costs US$43.75, making it just a few dollars more expensive than the Falkland Islands and Saint Helena, both of which came in at above US$40.00.

At the other end of the scale, Israel is the cheapest market in the world, mobile customers being able to pick up 1 GB of mobile data for just US$0.02.

Italy, where market competition has been fierce in recent years, in no small part as a result of the arrival of aggressive fourth player Iliad in 2018, ranks second at US$ 0.09. It’s also worth noting that France comes in ninth (US$ 0.20), China 28th (US$ 0.38), Australia 39th (US$ 0.44) and Spain – where consolidation could be on the cards, US$ 0.48.

The UK ranks in 58th place, 1 GB of mobile data costing US$ 0.62. That feels like a reassuringly balanced position, although doubtless mobile operators would like to charge more for their wares and consumers are always in search of a better deal.

And in most cases, the balance between those two positions is that customers are getting more data for their money.

“Our yearly mobile data pricing tracking study is as much a measure of the quantity of data offered as it is the price of data more broadly. After all, those countries with the most improved (cheaper) pricing across the five years our tracker now covers tend to be those offering tens or even hundreds of times more data in 2023 as was available for similar money in 2019,” said Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Cable.co.uk, in a statement accompanying the study.

“It’s encouraging to see the price of data coming down across the globe as whole, with the vast majority of countries offering 1 GB of mobile data for less than US$ 2.00. It’s a very different picture to the one we saw in 2019,” he added.

The UK has certainly seen some changes since the firm’s 2019 report. Back then it ranked 136th in the world, 1 GB of data costing US$ 6.42, and we were talking about it as an expensive market compared with much of the rest of Europe. As we have seen, some of the major European economies still have much lower prices than the UK, but the difference is much less stark.

Interestingly, India was the cheapest market in the world five years ago, with 1 GB of data being priced at an average of US$ 0.26. It now ranks seventh, the price having fallen to US$ 0.16, which is a less significant change than in many other markets.

In the US, the price has more than halved from US$ 12.37, which in 2019 put it at 145% of the global average. This year the worldwide average price for 1 GB of data has fallen to US$ 2.59, but the US data price stands at 232% of that figure.

Finally according to Cable.co price survey, Colombia, with an average of US$ 0.20, Uruguay US$ 0.28, Brazil US$ 0.51, Peru US$.45 and French Guiana US$ 0.49, are the only South American countries to make it into the top 50 cheapest in the world. Again the most expensive in the region is the Falkland Islands at US$ 40.58 – it is also the second most expensive in the world.

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