US mobile data still costs way more than it should

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Global average mobile data cost seems reasonable.
Americans pay mobile data costs well above the global average.
Photo: Polina/Pexels

Americans pay far more for 4G service than much of the world, according to a report released Tuesday by a price-comparison firm. The cost for 1 gigabyte of LTE data in the United States costs almost twice the global average. And U.S. 4G service costs more than similar offerings in a whopping 187 other countries.

Cable.co.uk‬ analyzed 5,554 mobile data plans in 228 countries to determine the cost of 1GB of mobile data in U.S. dollars‪. India came in with the cheapest option, with an average cost of 9 cents for gig of data. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 1GB of data costs a crazy-expensive $52.50 in Saint Helena, a tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

U.S. mobile data cost compared to the world

“The United States is one of the most expensive developed nations for purchasing mobile data, coming in 188th in the world, and with an average 1GB cost of USD 8.00 – well above the global average of USD 5.09,” noted ‪Cable.co.uk.‬

This isn’t a new development. A similar study done in 2019 by Rewheel found “the US has the 5th highest gigabyte prices in smartphone plans and is the most expensive market in mobile broadband among the 41 EU28 & OECD countries.”

‪Many European nations come in well under the global average on mobile data cost. ‬In Italy, the average price of a gig of data runs just 43 cents. In Denmark, it’s 80 cents and France it’s 81 cents. The U.K. average comes in at $1.39.

‪Australians pay an average of 68 cents. But Canadians don’t have it nearly so good. The average price of 1GB of data there is $12.55.‬