Fixed vs wireless broadband: at $9 a gig, mobile internet is a luxury (pricing study)


Americans still get 96% of their direct Internet consumption from fixed cable lines, while the rest comes through via mobile data networks. Looking at the pricing differential chart above can easily explain the ratio, according to mobile industry analyst Kyung Mun. The researcher calculated the average price per 1 GB for the most popular carrier data plans on the four largest carriers, and, in short, we are paying between 20-60 times more per gigabyte of mobile data than for fixed broadband.

The difference is 20 times when we take the pricing of the average mobile data usage (3.7 GB a month as per the latest Ericsson Mobility Report), and relate it to the average fixed Internet data consumption of 80 GB per month. When we look at the data caps of 300 GB a month that most cable providers put in place, however, and the average mobile data plan, the price difference triples to to 60 times that of fixed broadband.

In short, we are more than willing to pay the premium for the privilege to be connected everywhere, while researchers state that the mobile prices will only fall further with the recent operator convergence, and the advent of 5G. It's worth noting here that the researcher found out that the average price for 1 GB of mobile internet on the big two carriers is about $10, while the smaller two average just about $5 per gig, so if you are on T-Mobile and Sprint, the price difference with your home broadband isn't as high as in the chart above, but still pretty significant.

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6 Comments

1. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

WOW!!!! Simply WOW!!!! In Indonesia, the price of 1GB is about US$1 for 2G/3G for internet without call/sms package.. If you have 4G, you have a 4G bonus that make it even cheaper. ex. 1 XL Axiata (http://www.xl.co.id/id/yang-baru/promosi/combo-xtra ) --a. For 59ribu (59K rupiah = US$4.5) --a. You got 50 minute call + 2GB data (2G/3G/4G) + 10GB (4G only) --b. For 129ribu (129K rupiah = US$9) --b. You got 100 minute call + 6GB data (2G/3G/4G) + 20GB (4G only) ex. 2 Ooredoo (https://indosatooredoo.com/en/personal/producttariff/im3/freedom-combo ) --a. For 59ribu (59K rupiah = US$4.5) --a. You got call/sms + 4GB data (2G/3G/4G) + 10GB (4G only) --b. For 149ribu (149K rupiah = US$12) --b. You got call/sms + 8GB data (2G/3G/4G) + 30GB (4G only)

2. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

In India where I live it cost $3.69 for a GB data with 1 month validity (₹249). So US pays 2.439 times more compared to Indian . But an average US citizen makes more than 2.439 times of income compared to an average indian. So I don't find $9 for a GB is that high for mobile data.

3. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

in canada its more like 20$ per GB... so...

4. movielover76

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 22, 2016

I have the best plan in states, 2 lines of unlimited data for $100 a month on T-mobile Even if you take their 25 GB threshold (before possibly being deprioritized occasionally a cap, I have 50 GB a month) which works out to $2 / GB. My wife goes over 25 GB every single month and rarely experiences any slowdowns that affect her ability to use the phone the way she wants, so it's really quite a bit less per GB that we actually use. We probably average 50 - 60gb a month. But I still agree with the OP, mobile broadband isn't a viable replacement for fixed wired broadband, we use 20 times that on our fixed broadband link.

5. kevinhope5

Posts: 53; Member since: Feb 06, 2014

I've got 2GB, 50 minutes and 250 texts for only $3 in Zimbabwe. On the other sim I get 140 minutes, 300 texts and 270 MB for just $1...

6. jaman_vvip

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2016

direct Internet consumer are always beneficial. Lan connection internet provider offer cheap rates rather then mobile data network. mobilepricebd.net

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