Mobile data plans cost only $4.03 per month in Austria, making it the country with the most affordable mobile data plans in the world, according to a new report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Mobile data plans are actually cheapest in Sri Lanka, where they cost $3.23 per month, but when you take into account the country’s per capita Gross National Income (GNI), that price tag is actually much less affordable than Austria's $4-per-month fee.
In Sri Lanka, the per capita GNI is $2,580 for 2011, significantly lower than Austria’s per capita GNI of $48,300 in 2011.
In the U.S., the average mobile broadband plan costs $52.49 -- the 26th most- affordable country in this analysis.
Mobile data plans are the least affordable in the Democratic Republic of Congo ($15.83) and Zimbabwe ($53.33), where the average plan is equivalent to 100 percent of that country’s monthly GNI. Even though these prices seem reasonable, incomes in these countries are so low that paying for monthly mobile data would cost the average resident more than their total monthly income.
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Here’s a map of monthly mobile broadband prices in 110 countries, color coded by how affordable the average monthly data plan is. Click on any colored-in country for more info:
For more info on methodology, refer to pages 92-95 of the ITU report.