Fact check: India's mobile tariffs aren't the cheapest in the world anymore

Fact check: India's mobile tariffs aren't the cheapest in the world anymore
Business Insider India

  • Yesterday, India's IT Minister tweeted that the country's data plans continue to be the cheapest in the world despite a hike in tariffs by telecom operators.
  • Data shows while India will continue to have one of the least expensive data costs in the world — it will no longer be the cheapest.
  • Kyrgyzstan now has the lowest cost per GB in the world at $0.27.
India's mobile tariffs are no longer the cheapest in the world after an almost 40% hike in subscription rates by the country's leading telecom operators — Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio — despite IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's assurances.

Before the hike in prices, the average cost per 1GB of data in India was $0.26, according to cable.co.uk. Accounting for a 40% increase, the cost will now lie at around $0.36 per GB — making India's data consumption more expensive than Kyrgyzstan.

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As per Business Insider's calculations, even if the increase is limited to 30%, as some plans claim, the cost will be at $0.33 per GB — above Kyrgyzstan's rock-bottom prices of $0.27.

And, data is only one facet of the increase in prices. Customers will also have to bear the burden of being charged to place calls outside their networks since most telecom plans no longer provide ‘unlimited calling'.

Data will still be pretty darn cheap

Even though data rates in India might not be the cheapest — they're still among the lowest in the world.

Other developing nations around the world bear much higher tariffs. In Brazil, for instance, the cost of data is 12 times more expensive at $3.50 per GB. And, in China — one of India's neighbors — 1GB costs $9.89 on an average.

Data in developed nations like the United States and Canada costs in excess of $12 per GB.

Zimbabwe telcos charge $75.50 for 1GB on an average, making its data the most expensive in the world.

See also:
Mukesh Ambani joins his peers to end the cheap data party for Indians

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