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Cost per GB Data Ranking 2021: Where Nepal Sits?

The post delves into the mobile data cost ranking of 2021 based on 1GB mobile data consumption in 230 countries. We will then evaluate how Nepal fare among the lot.

The data we use here comes from Cable.co.uk which derived its conclusion from available data between 8 December 2020 and 25 February 2021 that ranked countries on data speeds and costs.

The talk of mobile data being excessive is rampant among Nepali mobile data subscribers. This has been the norm that Nepal pays very high for internet among the South Asia member countries. Sadly, this is not an argument but the truth. As per ITU’s data in 2020, Nepalese paid 2.9 percent of PCI (Per Capita Income) annual for broadband connection, which is the second behind only Afghanistan.

Check out: Nepal ranks among the top 10 countries with the highest telecom tax

However, it is also important to keep knowledge of how internet prices fare in other countries. So this article will illuminate the topic of mobile data cost which is based on 1GB mobile data in 230 countries. So let’s delve into it and find out how Nepal ranks among them.

Per GB Data Cost Ranking 2021: Cheapest Countries

RankCountriesThe average price of 1GB (USD)  
1Israel$0.05
2Kyrgyzstan$0.15
3Fiji$0.19
4Italy$0.27
5Sudan$0.27

As you can see, Israel came out on top being the cheapest country for mobile broadband with just $0.05 per 1GB bandwidth consumption. It is followed by Kyrgyzstan with $0.15 at second which is an Asian country, At third comes Fiji, trailed by Italy, and then Sudan with $0.19, $27, and again $0.27 cost.

Kyrgyzstan, an Asian nation made broke into the list at second while Western European nation Italy ranked at fourth tied with Sudan, an African nation. Several Asian countries are there among the cheapest broadband provider on this list.

Read: Internet Users Reached 4.6 billion Worldwide: Digital 2021 Report

In fact, Asian nations accounted for a quarter of the top 20 countries with the cheapest data where, both Bangladesh ($0.34) and Sri Lanka ($0.38) made it to the top ten.

Only three Asian countries are more expensive than the global average of $4.21 – South Korea ($4.72), Taiwan ($5.67), and British Indian Ocean Territory, the most expensive in the region at $7.50.

Cost per GB Ranking 2021

The above map indicates the cost range of mobile internet in different regions. The Asian region showed cheaper internet costs as per the data volume of 1GB represented by the blue shades. China, India, Brazil, and some Asia Pacific nations pay from $0 to $5 for every 1GB bandwidth.

As it grows pinkish, the cost for mobile data also grows. USA, Canada, North American islands, and other nations dispersed in Africa also pay from above $5 to beyond 420 for every 1GB bandwidth consumption. The global discrepancy on mobile broadband leaves a gulf to narrow.

GB Mobile Data Cost Ranking 2021: Expensive Countries

RankCountriesThe average price of 1GB (USD)  
1Equatorial Guinea$49.67
2Falkland Islands$44.56
3Saint Helena$39.87
4São Tomé and Príncipe$30.97
5Malawi$25.46

In the overall ranking, Equatorial Guinea ranked for the most expensive mobile data at $49.67 trailed by the Falkland Islands with  $44.56. The island nation Saint Helena ranked in the top 3 with $39.87 per 1GB mobile data. At the fourth and fifth position came Sao Tome and Principe & Malawi with $30.97 and $25.46 respectively.

Check out: Telecom service is expensive in Nepal as per the OAG report

Mobile Data Cost In Nepal Among South Asian Neighbors

When analyzing the rank of South Asian nations, Maldives topped the list as the most expensive country for mobile broadband. For every 1GB of internet data, it cost $3.24. It is followed by Afghanistan with $1.02 for every 1GB of mobile data. Nepal sits at fifth in the list. For every 1GB mobile data consumption, a Nepali would pay $0.61 to their mobile network provider.

RankSouth Asian CountriesThe average price of 1GB
1Maldives$3.24
2Afghanistan$1.02
3Bhutan$0.83
4India$0.68
5Nepal$0.61
6Pakistan$0.59
7Sri Lanka$0.38
8Bangladesh$0.34
Internet price in South Asia

The cheapest in South Asia is Bangladesh with just a $0.34 cost. India rests just above Nepal at 4th with $0.68 for every 1GB of data on mobile internet. The average cost for internet among South Asian consumers is $0.96.

Nepal’s cost for mobile data is a mix of expensive and cheap among the South Asian neighbors. It neither falls in the expensive category nor in the extreme bottom in the cheap category.

Meanwhile, Nepal ranked 24th in the overall ranking with $0.61 cost for every 1GB mobile data consumption.

There are multiple factors that result in cheap or expensive mobile data like digital infrastructures, fixed broadband availability, consumption volume, and economy.

Also read: Internet Users Reached 10.78MN in Nepal: Datareportal

COVID-19 led To Cheaper Mobile Data

However, we must realize that the internet prices were nosedived after lockdowns due to COVID-19’s chronic cases. Telcos have offered mobile data packs keeping the slimmest margin for profit which has soared mobile data consumption during these months. Nepali mobile data consumers have felt much relief on their broadband bills compared to previous years.

In Nepal, Nepal Telecom (NTC), Ncell, and Smart Cell contribute to mobile communications and they have substantially improved their mobile data offering to facilitate online activities and also reach new customers. This has certainly led to cheaper internet and exponential data consumption post-COVID-19 times.

What is your view on global diversity in mobile internet cost? Did you find it plausible that Asian internet price was cheaper compared to that in the West? Do leave your inputs in the comments below.

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