U.S. data plans among the most expensive and most affordable at the same time

U.S. data plans among the most expensive and most affordable at the same time
If you are a subscriber to a major U.S. carrier, it might not surprise you to find out that U.S. data plans are among the most expensive in the world. That is based on the raw numbers. The average mobile data plan with 500 MB of data is $85 monthly in the states compared to $24.10 in China and $8.80 in the U.K using dollar purchasing power parity (PPP).

Using PPP, which eliminates the affects of a too strong or too weak dollar, a monthly data plan that costs $85 in the states runs only $10 in India, Indonesia, Germany, Italy, and the U.K. The cheapest spot in the world to pick up 500MB of data according to the ITU, is Austria where $4.70 a month gets you what $85 a month buys you in the states.

But even though monthly data plans in the U.S. are the most expensive, they are also amongst the most affordable. You might ask yourself how something can be cheap and dear at the same time, but there is another way to look at the data. Even though the average plan in the U.S. for 500MB of data cost $85 monthly, well above other countries, as a percentage of the monthly income of an American, the $85 is actually quite cheap.
 
As a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI), the $85 represents just 2.1% off the average U.S. citizen's income making the plan quite affordable. In Botswana that same $85 plan represents 9% of an average person's income and in Morocco, it is an oppressive 20%. So what seems expensive looking at raw numbers is actually much different depending on the country you are looking at.

Besides the U.S., other countries with an average data plan that comes in at 2.5% of GNI or lower include Canada, Russia, Mexico and Europe. In Europe, monthly data plans can be as low as .5% to 1% of GNI making them the most affordable on the planet.


source: ITU via Economist, AndroidCentral

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31 Comments

1. crpz32

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 07, 2013

$85 is just the average. My $30 walmart plan give me 5GB at 4G speed. Not bad.

2. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

you get 20GB at 4G speeds for $24 in sri lanka

8. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I have unlimited Talk Text & 4G web for $50, nationwide service. and its not prepay

27. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1204; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

I have got 10000 minutes of calls, 1000 sms, 8GB HSPA+ data for Rs1500 in India (around 25 USD)...

3. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

Here in ethiopia we get 500mb for $6 U.S. With a painfully slow connection, and compared to the peoples average earnings, that my friends is Expensive!

4. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

Here in ethiopia we get 500mb for $6 U.S. With a painfully slow connection, and compared to the peoples average earnings, that my friends is Expensive!

5. NioSenpai

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Emmm, in my country u can get like 1gb for 1.5$ and that is really expensive :). We can get unlimited data for 10$ still consider expensive.

6. julz17ronald

Posts: 52; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Here in my country we get unlimited data for $24 but the speed is only up to 5mbps but it's not bad =)

7. kg4icg

Posts: 83; Member since: May 18, 2008

My $80 a month gives me unlimited talk, text, and data. Where the hell is 500 mb coming from? My data is LTE.

9. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

outside the USA some countries only have EDGE or with a basic cell phone 500mb on a WAP browser is a lot of useage.

30. laheelahee

Posts: 213; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

it just seems interesting that there's no data for Korea. they have crazy fast internet, but nobody wanted to research it? okay..

10. dmn666

Posts: 244; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

$85 in the US and $8.80 in the UK? Something seems wrong here. $85 includes the cost of talk/text and $8.80 is probably the cost of data only in the UK - I think.

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1092; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

its real tough to compare because we also have wayyyyyy more coverage than the other countyies. for examplehttp://www.insidervlv.com/landmass.html Sri Lanka slightly larger than West Virginia Ethiopia slightly less than twice the size of Texas the other thing is many other countries cover the metro areas very well but dont awyays cover the rural areas like we are accustomed to here is the USA

12. yooperboogs

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 10, 2011

AiO Wireless a subsidiary of AT&T for $70 you get unlimited Talk and Text and 7GB of LTE and HSPA+ data and after that 7GB you drop down to 3G data unlimited.

13. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

In my country India, it's Rs. 125 ($2.5) for 1GB 3G data from some telecom operators.

23. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

may i know which telecom operator???? here in chennai we 1gb of 2G data for 126(airtel).... but for being thier loyal customer for years they offer me 2 GB of 3G data for 250...

26. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

29. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

good info though..

28. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

"Under the new 3G plan by airtel, users can enjoy 1 GB 3G data at Rs.124 for 1 month. Although the plan has not been officially revealed by operator yet, it is expected to be a one time offer available with all the airtel retailers. We’ll update our readers as and when any confirmation will be received on the same." as said above probably it will be a one time offer...

31. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

No, it is not one time offer. It's started from this 15 Aug 2013 with all above operators including Idea also.

14. fistigons

Posts: 368; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Giffgaff in the uk has unlimited web, texts and 250 minutes for 12 pounds. Which equals 18 dollars. For 8 more pounds you get 1200 minutes.

15. eznuel

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Project Loon is going to be a killer. Can't wait..

16. Android4Ever

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

I get UNLIMITED 4GLTE (no throttling) on T-Mobile for $70.00 a month. I get a good signal everywhere I go. At&t and Verizon like to bend their customers over...

17. Ronny666

Posts: 128; Member since: Jun 08, 2013

Why compare with other counties? If you earn in dollars then there's nothing to complain about the price.

18. Adithya7184

Posts: 322; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

in India, courtesy of Airtel, i get 80GB of 4G data for $80....

19. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

80 GB 4G data for $80? WTF? Where do uou live?

20. jaisix

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Here in India 2gb 3g data cost you 4 dollars..

21. AhmoZ

Posts: 11; Member since: Feb 07, 2013

In Egypt, I can get a 1 GB of HSPA+ speed for only $2.85. My own data plan is 7 GB that costs me about $14.28. I think that's nice cost for a good speed.

22. michelhn

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

In Egypt we have a 1 GB plan for only 2.9 USD, and there is a 400 MB plan for 1.45 USD! I guess we are the cheapest!

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