Wednesday, 23 June 2021 11:44

Mobile data - speed vs. price Featured

Mobile data - speed vs. price Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

There is a wide discrepancy between mobile data speeds and the price for that data around the world.

Speedcheck recently conducted a survey of their customers in 89 countries to determine a price comparison for download speeds and the price per gigabyte.

By sourcing price per gigabyte data from and adjusting for local purchasing power, Speedcheck was able to determine an effective price for data that was proportionate to local incomes. Download speeds were calculated directly from the company's own app installed on a variety of mobile devices.

From these two values, a "speed-price index" was determined expressed in Mbps/$/GB. Thus even a relatively slow connection would rank highly, but only if it was very low cost.

This is exactly how Israel topped the chart.

Here are the top ten countries based on that metric:

top 10

Israel's download speed is relatively poor at 7.12 Mbps, but consumers are charged only $0.09 per GB (adjusted, as mentioned previously, for local purchasing power). Note that the highest download speeds were experienced in Bulgaria, but the cost per GB was $6.49, placing the country 23rd in the list.


In their analysis of the reasons for such strong differences in this price-performance metric, even between similar countries, or even adjacent countries was the prices paid during spectrum auctions. After-all, the only way a mobile telco can recoup the price they paid for spectrum is by taking it from their customers. Along with data and background information for all 89 countries, there is a deeper analysis of these costs in the report which notes, "National governments and telecommunications regulators worldwide have had three opportunities over the past 20 years to get the spectrum auctions right for the government, right for the mobile telcos, and, above all, right for the consumer of essential mobile services. And yet, it seems few lessons have been learned from past mistakes."

We commend the report to our readers.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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