Mobile Data Costs a Fortune in the UK, New Study Shows

By Holly Brockwell on at

A direct comparison of mobile phone data prices across 230 countries has shown that the UK comes a deeply depressing 136th. That's right, we're in the bottom half in the whole world. Woohoo!

Not only do we pay more per GB than countries including Kazakhstan and Rwanda, we also pay more than five times as much as fellow European countries like Finland.

Here's the top ten (the prices are for 1GB in US dollars):

  1. India $0.26
  2. Kyrgyzstan $0.27
  3. Kazakhstan $0.49
  4. Ukraine $0.51
  5. Rwanda $0.56
  6. Sudan $0.68
  7. Sri Lanka $0.78
  8. Mongolia $0.82
  9. Myanmar $0.87
  10. Democratic Republic of Congo $0.8814

And we're all the way down at 136th with a hilariously appropriate $6.66. We're not making this up.

Finland, by comparison, pays $1.16 per GB.

Still, taking the British approach of trying to look on the bright side of life, we're not the worst. And crucially, we're above America on the list. So there.

The US had an average of almost twice as much as ours: $12.37 per gig. Not so much the land of the free now, eh? (Look, we're not usually this combative but we've got to find something to make us feel better about our place on the list, okay?).

The worst country of all was Zimbabwe, costing a stonking $75.20 per GB.

The data comes from Cable.co.uk, which looked at over 6,000 mobile plans to find an accurate average. The gap between the cheapest and priciest gig is pretty eye-opening:

Someone's paying $56.87 — about £43 — per gigabyte?! That should be illegal. (Also whoever's paying 26 cents, hook us up please).

Dan Howdle, one of Cable.co.uk's analysts, comments:

"It’s disappointing to see the UK among the most expensive countries for mobile data. Despite a healthy UK marketplace, our study has uncovered that EU nations such as Finland, Poland, Denmark, Italy, Austria and France pay a fraction of what we pay in the UK for similar data usage."

Disappointing is one word for it, yes.

Howdle went on to say that "it will be interesting to see how our position is affected post-Brexit." We reckon we can say with fair confidence that it will not be an improvement. [The Guardian]