Mobile Data Affordability Index | A global comparison

Mobile data allows you to connect to the internet from your device from anywhere, as long as you have a mobile internet connection, such as 4G.

While the majority of countries mainly use mobile data for lighter activities such as emails, social media, messaging or VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) apps (such as WhatsApp), this isn’t the case for all countries. In areas where there is a limited fixed-line connection infrastructure, mobile data is the go-to for internet connectivity. Essential for employers, education, and healthcare.

Our comprehensive study has highlighted that access to affordable mobile data is not a given for everyone globally.

We compared the average cost of a mobile phone monthly plan with 10GB+ data against average wages to determine the mobile data affordability rating for 179 countries worldwide.

Interactive map

Data as a % of salary

< 1.5%
< 3.3%
< 5.2%
< 10%
> 10%

How to use the map

Countries are colour-coded to highlight their mobile data affordability at a glance. Simply hover over a country to see a pop-up box that shows their mobile data affordability (mobile data costs as a percentage of monthly salary) and their worldwide ranking (out of the 179 countries included in the research).

Why some countries don’t have data

Countries without enough responses were excluded from the study. For more details, including the list of countries excluded, see methodology.

Related research

Broadband Genie also conducted the World Broadband Affordability Index, a study looking at the cost of broadband and the purchasing power of residents in each country.

Topline findings

  • Worldwide, people spend 4.09% of their salary on a mobile phone plan with 10GB+ of data.
  • The average spend on a mobile phone plan with 10GB+ of data is USD 24.20.
  • People typically spend more of their salary on mobile data, than on a high-speed internet connection (3.81%).
  • European and Asian countries take up the majority of places in the top 20. These continents have a greater purchasing power because of higher wages and reasonable tariff prices.
  • Europe has the most affordable mobile data in the world, spending 1.37% of an average salary on a data SIM plan. Followed by Asia, typically spending 3.21% of an average salary on a phone contract with mobile broadband included.
  • Lesotho (18th) and Honduras (19th) are the only countries in the top 20 outside of Asia and Europe.
  • G7 countries (developed economies): All of G7, United Kingdom (5th), Germany (13th), Italy (20th), United States (35th), Japan (41st), France (44th) and Canada (62nd) have mobile data more affordable than the global average.
  • BRICS nations (emerging markets): South Africa squeezes into the top half for mobile affordability (89th). Brazil (128th) is the only emerging market country outside the top half. Remaining BRICS nations; India finished 11th, Russia 26th and China 51st.

Countries with the most affordable mobile data

1. Singapore

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.35%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 17.13
  • Total tariffs measured: 454

2. Luxembourg

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.40%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 21.16
  • Total tariffs measured: 174

3. Israel

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.47%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 12.20
  • Total tariffs measured: 629

4. Iceland

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.51%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 23.52
  • Total tariffs measured: 173

5. United Kingdom

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.52%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 15.38
  • Total tariffs measured: 3,098

Taking a step back, Europe may be the continent with the most affordable internet, but Singapore is the country in the top spot. The price of mobile data is lower but not far away from the global average (USD 24.20). High average wages mean the purchasing power of consumers is the strongest in the world.

In second place is Luxembourg, where mobile contracts usually retail for below the global average and salaries are almost double the world average. The small nation has a competitive mobile market and a plethora of providers to pick from. Pay-as-you-go SIMs are also available with a similar amount of data as a monthly plan from various providers.

We’re proud to see our home nation, the United Kingdom in the top five. Customers have been using the ‘text-to-switch’ process since 2019, where customers can freely switch between networks and can keep their mobile number by requesting their PAC code with one text message. Locked handsets were banned in 2021, giving customers more freedom and opening out deals such as SIM only contracts with a second hand mobile phone.

Countries with the least affordable mobile data

1. Guinea

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 56.29%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 115.58
  • Total tariffs measured: 3

2. Zambia

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 30.29%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 87.12
  • Total tariffs measured: 17

3. Ivory Coast

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 23.20%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 41.25
  • Total tariffs measured: 25

4. Syria

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 22.11%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 9.91
  • Total tariffs measured: 30

5. Papua New Guinea

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 21.81%
  • Phone plan cost: USD 62.81
  • Total tariffs measured: 9

Three out of the five countries with the least affordable mobile phone plans are located in the Western Africa region. Africa has some of the lowest average wages, and Western Africa has an average data tariff cost of USD 29.79.

Syria is an outlier in the bottom five. It has some of the most reasonably priced mobile tariffs, cheaper than any country in the top five for affordability. However, because of conflict, unemployment has risen and reduced the purchasing power of locals.

Papua New Guinea rounds out the bottom five. Island nations found in areas such as Oceania or the Caribbean have some of the most expensive mobile plans.

World mobile data affordability | Country-by-country ranking

Three out of the five countries with the least affordable mobile phone plans are located in the Western Africa region. Africa has some of the lowest average wages, and Western Africa has an average data tariff cost of USD 29.79.

World ranking Country Region Subregion Mobile data cost (USD) Average salary (USD) Mobile data as a % of salary
1SingaporeAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia17.134,920.860.35
2LuxembourgEuropeWestern Europe21.165,275.540.40
3IsraelAsiaWestern Asia12.202,583.240.47
4IcelandEuropeNorthern Europe23.524,614.540.51
5United KingdomEuropeNorthern Europe15.382,948.080.52
6Hong KongAsiaEastern Asia19.723,617.070.55
7DenmarkEuropeNorthern Europe19.843,629.340.55
8LiechtensteinEuropeWestern Europe34.396,220.430.55
9MonacoEuropeWestern Europe47.627,801.080.61
10PolandEuropeEastern Europe8.711,369.600.64
11IndiaAsiaSouthern Asia3.81588.340.65
12IrelandEuropeNorthern Europe22.193,155.300.70
13GermanyEuropeWestern Europe21.663,027.050.72
14NetherlandsEuropeWestern Europe24.903,467.410.72
15SloveniaEuropeSouthern Europe10.741,474.910.73
16KuwaitAsiaWestern Asia21.452,883.420.74
17San MarinoEuropeSouthern Europe21.642,844.890.76
18LesothoAfricaSouthern Africa5.83722.030.81
19HondurasNorth AmericaCentral America4.66569.200.82
20ItalyEuropeSouthern Europe14.291,711.220.84
21IranAsiaSouthern Asia2.24266.610.84
22AustriaEuropeWestern Europe21.852,592.360.84
24BelgiumEuropeWestern Europe22.462,612.960.86
25SwitzerlandEuropeWestern Europe59.826,659.120.90
26RussiaEuropeEastern Europe5.38572.700.94
27RomaniaEuropeEastern Europe7.83823.230.95
28FinlandEuropeNorthern Europe28.882,884.461.00
29SwedenEuropeNorthern Europe28.172,716.181.04
30SpainEuropeSouthern Europe20.381,921.121.06
31MalaysiaAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia8.76810.721.08
32AndorraEuropeSouthern Europe28.202,599.651.08
33LiberiaAfricaWestern Africa22.502,028.001.11
34LithuaniaEuropeNorthern Europe14.591,306.281.12
35United StatesNorth AmericaNorthern America52.744,665.581.13
36IndonesiaAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia3.69316.761.16
37CyprusAsiaWestern Asia21.181,815.501.17
38QatarAsiaWestern Asia47.474,051.041.17
39TurkeyAsiaWestern Asia7.20611.031.18
41JapanAsiaEastern Asia26.732,256.031.18
42BruneiAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia21.551,805.461.19
43UzbekistanAsiaCentral Asia4.36364.211.20
44FranceEuropeWestern Europe30.982,507.411.24
45BahrainAsiaWestern Asia27.412,154.601.27
46NorwayEuropeNorthern Europe43.833,410.191.29
47EstoniaEuropeNorthern Europe20.731,610.841.29
48VietnamAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia5.92447.631.32
49New ZealandOceaniaOceania38.822,921.811.33
50Timor-LesteAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia30.002,220.001.35
51ChinaAsiaEastern Asia13.39969.951.38
52UkraineEuropeEastern Europe5.72401.931.42
53GuatemalaNorth AmericaCentral America19.201,344.221.43
54SomaliaAfricaEastern Africa5.00340.831.47
55ArmeniaAsiaWestern Asia8.91605.081.47
56Sierra LeoneAfricaWestern Africa25.001,675.001.49
57UruguaySouth AmericaSouth America16.411,084.541.51
58MoldovaEuropeEastern Europe7.96521.131.53
59GrenadaNorth AmericaCaribbean18.501,173.681.58
60LatviaEuropeNorthern Europe18.291,134.151.61
61BelarusEuropeEastern Europe7.77481.371.61
62CanadaNorth AmericaNorthern America48.042,905.921.65
63KazakhstanAsiaCentral Asia9.79583.601.68
64TaiwanAsiaEastern Asia28.181,679.901.68
65BurundiAfricaEastern Africa10.00595.011.68
66Saudi ArabiaAsiaWestern Asia35.802,103.911.70
67MaltaEuropeSouthern Europe27.161,593.881.70
68CroatiaEuropeSouthern Europe21.221,191.671.78
69United Arab EmiratesAsiaWestern Asia61.533,425.391.80
70ChileSouth AmericaSouth America11.89653.241.82
71PortugalEuropeSouthern Europe20.791,122.691.85
72Czech RepublicEuropeEastern Europe28.761,544.091.86
73BulgariaEuropeEastern Europe16.46878.921.87
74NamibiaAfricaSouthern Africa13.66719.711.90
75South KoreaAsiaEastern Asia47.442,417.941.96
76GeorgiaAsiaWestern Asia10.01490.152.04
77MongoliaAsiaEastern Asia7.43352.172.11
78CambodiaAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia5.94278.682.13
79OmanAsiaWestern Asia45.692,127.772.15
80PalestineAsiaWestern Asia14.31649.022.20
81PakistanAsiaSouthern Asia3.91176.332.22
82SenegalAfricaWestern Africa9.07404.202.24
83NepalAsiaSouthern Asia4.92213.882.30
84SerbiaEuropeSouthern Europe15.76685.372.30
85GreeceEuropeSouthern Europe22.80968.942.35
86DjiboutiAfricaEastern Africa36.551,546.612.36
87BangladeshAsiaSouthern Asia5.91246.132.40
88EcuadorSouth AmericaSouth America12.47515.582.42
89South AfricaAfricaSouthern Africa31.181,285.462.43
90KyrgyzstanAsiaCentral Asia7.61312.892.43
91JordanAsiaWestern Asia15.36627.302.45
92MontenegroEuropeSouthern Europe19.76805.192.45
93ColombiaSouth AmericaSouth America9.17373.362.46
94Solomon IslandsOceaniaOceania13.07516.702.53
95MoroccoAfricaNorthern Africa9.92391.222.54
96Sri LankaAsiaSouthern Asia4.84189.382.55
97Costa RicaNorth AmericaCentral America22.89888.372.58
98ThailandAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia14.01540.172.59
100HungaryEuropeEastern Europe26.49941.262.81
101Bosnia And HerzegovinaEuropeSouthern Europe18.25647.852.82
102Antigua and BarbudaNorth AmericaCaribbean39.591,397.862.83
103Marshall IslandsOceaniaOceania50.001,750.002.86
104SlovakiaEuropeEastern Europe34.431,189.932.89
105AlbaniaEuropeSouthern Europe16.12555.782.90
106PeruSouth AmericaSouth America11.38383.592.97
107Puerto RicoNorth AmericaCaribbean70.002,278.203.07
108JamaicaNorth AmericaCaribbean19.62635.443.09
109YemenAsiaWestern Asia11.50368.673.12
110LibyaAfricaNorthern Africa9.27290.063.20
111MexicoNorth AmericaCentral America24.91764.233.26
112TunisiaAfricaNorthern Africa9.75296.903.28
113Democratic Republic of the CongoAfricaMiddle Africa18.75566.443.31
114AzerbaijanAsiaWestern Asia12.89388.243.32
115North MacedoniaEuropeSouthern Europe17.39514.153.38
117RwandaAfricaEastern Africa9.20264.083.48
118KenyaAfricaEastern Africa11.49328.383.50
119MauritiusAfricaEastern Africa20.08567.613.54
120BotswanaAfricaSouthern Africa26.06710.253.67
121MauritaniaAfricaWestern Africa24.98674.053.71
122Saint Kitts and NevisNorth AmericaCaribbean42.001,110.063.78
123PanamaNorth AmericaCentral America30.19795.693.79
124AlgeriaAfricaNorthern Africa11.61290.633.99
125TogoAfricaWestern Africa23.10549.934.20
126El SalvadorNorth AmericaCentral America17.52415.714.21
127ArgentinaSouth AmericaSouth America17.86422.454.23
128BrazilSouth AmericaSouth America19.41455.614.26
129MyanmarAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia11.84275.864.29
130Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesNorth AmericaCaribbean37.00860.304.30
131BahamasNorth AmericaCaribbean71.491,658.304.31
132IraqAsiaWestern Asia23.61547.324.31
133BarbadosNorth AmericaCaribbean50.001,138.894.39
134Dominican RepublicNorth AmericaCaribbean18.24395.004.62
135ZimbabweAfricaEastern Africa16.30342.664.76
136TanzaniaAfricaEastern Africa11.90247.524.81
137SudanAfricaNorthern Africa9.59197.424.86
138ParaguaySouth AmericaSouth America15.77322.814.89
139MaldivesAsiaSouthern Asia48.30987.554.89
140ComorosAfricaEastern Africa32.85667.334.92
141EgyptAfricaNorthern Africa9.03178.695.05
142BelizeNorth AmericaCentral America49.65962.995.16
143NigeriaAfricaWestern Africa5.71108.825.25
144Trinidad and TobagoNorth AmericaCaribbean43.64806.265.41
145NigerAfricaWestern Africa16.50300.405.49
146EthiopiaAfricaEastern Africa11.57207.965.56
147GhanaAfricaWestern Africa10.25184.105.57
148BoliviaSouth AmericaSouth America22.53390.675.77
150SeychellesAfricaEastern Africa43.27737.795.86
151NicaraguaNorth AmericaCentral America16.19251.896.43
152GuyanaSouth AmericaSouth America27.88430.266.48
153VenezuelaSouth AmericaSouth America13.00194.336.69
154EswatiniAfricaSouthern Africa33.15493.246.72
155UgandaAfricaEastern Africa13.12195.176.72
156AngolaAfricaSouthern Africa21.28314.536.77
157GabonAfricaMiddle Africa33.00472.946.98
158LaosAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia40.19560.007.18
159MozambiqueAfricaEastern Africa19.24266.147.23
160ChadAfricaMiddle Africa24.75329.967.50
161AfghanistanAsiaSouthern Asia15.17199.147.62
162BhutanAsiaSouthern Asia36.13448.608.05
163TajikistanAsiaCentral Asia13.77170.268.09
164GambiaAfricaWestern Africa22.25237.309.38
165MadagascarAfricaEastern Africa13.15139.599.42
166Saint LuciaNorth AmericaCaribbean111.011,156.329.60
167SurinameSouth AmericaSouth America25.00258.209.68
168DominicaNorth AmericaCaribbean48.10431.6911.14
170PhilippinesAsiaSouth-Eastern Asia41.46363.1811.42
171LebanonAsiaWestern Asia57.66420.1913.72
172BeninAfricaWestern Africa41.33283.8014.56
173CameroonAfricaMiddle Africa24.75160.8515.39
174CubaNorth AmericaCaribbean40.00234.0017.09
175Papua New GuineaOceaniaMelanesia62.81287.9721.81
176SyriaAsiaWestern Asia9.9144.8322.11
177Ivory CoastAfricaWestern Africa41.25177.7723.20
178ZambiaAfricaEastern Africa87.12287.6630.29
179GuineaAfricaWestern Africa115.58205.3456.29

Global snapshot of mobile data affordability

Here is a snapshot of the world's continents for mobile data affordability. Europe comes out on top, residents of Europe spend 1.37% of their salary on mobile data.

Asia has the second most affordable data in the world, people spend 3.21% of their salary on mobile data. This is below the world average of 4.09%.

South America, North America and Oceania are similar, spending between 4.43 - 5.37% of their salary on mobile data. South America and North America have two different stories behind the final data. North America has the most expensive mobile data but benefits from healthier wages. Whereas South America has the cheapest data but also the lowest salaries.

Africa has the least affordable mobile data in the world. The cost of data is below the world average, but the second-lowest salaries mean the continent finishes bottom of the study.

Continent Data cost (USD) Salary (USD) Mobile data as a % of salary
South America16.90457.054.43
North America38.921,166.954.59
World average24.201,204.344.09

Regional analysis

In this section, we have a closer look at mobile data affordability in 18 global regions.

Rank Sub continent Data cost (USD) Salary (USD) Mobile data as a % of salary
1Western Europe31.654,462.590.76
2Northern Europe23.542,740.940.96
3Northern America50.393,785.751.39
4Eastern Asia23.811,882.181.48
5Eastern Europe14.95872.421.65
6Southern Europe19.611,331.241.86
7South-Eastern Asia18.231,139.943.10
8Central Asia8.88357.743.35
9Central America23.15749.043.46
10Southern Asia13.91368.443.50
11Western Asia24.671,438.713.69
12Southern Africa21.86707.543.71
13Northern Africa9.86274.153.82
14South America16.90457.054.43
17Eastern Africa22.72448.966.37
18Middle Africa25.31382.558.29
19Western Africa29.79569.0611.04

1. Western Europe

All 9 countries from Western Europe are in the top 50 for mobile data affordability. The average data cost is hefty, but this is outweighed by the region having the highest average salaries. Just think how small the relative cost of a data plan would be if those Monégasques were a bit more frugal!

Customers also benefit from EU roaming if they wish to travel to nearby neighbours, as they can enjoy all the benefits of their SIM card for free as they would at home. Perfect if you have unlimited data for exploring new cities or tethering your device such as a laptop to work remotely without having to worry about finding a decent Wi-Fi connection.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.76%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 31.65
  • Countries tested: 9
  • Total tariffs measured: 7,277

2. Northern Europe

The 10 countries are all placed in the top 60 and 3 (Iceland, United Kingdom and Denmark) finish in the top 10. Many of these countries benefit from a competitive market with a range of networks and virtual networks such as ID mobile, Smarty or Sky Mobile that offer cheap SIM-only plans. In the UK network, telecoms giants O2 and Virgin Media joined forces, offering discounted packages if you choose a SIM deal through O2 and your broadband from Virgin Media.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 0.96%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 23.54
  • Countries tested: 10
  • Total tariffs measured: 6,958

3. Northern America

North America, home of the Apple iPhone and home to some of the most expensive monthly phone plan costs, the most expensive in the world. Both the United States and Canada have data costs above the world average. The region has the third-busiest mobile data traffic, so it’s likely many customers are on unlimited data allowance plans. Healthy payslips mean residents can absorb the hefty price tags.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 1.39%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 50.39
  • Countries tested: 2
  • Total tariffs measured: 13,429

4. Eastern Asia

No Eastern Asian country exceeds the average speed (4.09%) of salary on mobile data. Japan and South Korea do go above the average mobile data cost, but the region has the fourth-highest wages, meaning mobile data is a modest expense. The Locals enjoy fast speeds, China has one of the fastest mobile network infrastructures in the world and the region is at the forefront of 5G coverage.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 1.48%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 23.81
  • Countries tested: 6
  • Total tariffs measured: 2,557

5. Eastern Europe

The region is the fourth cheapest for mobile plans. Six countries (Poland, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus) all have average data plans under USD 10.00. But because of lower wages than other parts of Europe, Poland also is the only country in the region in the top ten for affordability.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 1.65%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 14.95
  • Countries tested: 10
  • Total tariffs measured: 7,538

6. Southern Europe

Within the region, Andorra and Malta have average data plans higher than the world average. The largest economies in the region, Italy and Spain are a respectable 20th and 30th. However, Portugal is a disheartening 71st.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 1.86%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 19.61
  • Countries tested: 14
  • Total tariffs measured: 8,133

7. South-Eastern Asia

A tale of two halves. The region has our number one rank - Singapore, which has an average price of data well below the global average and the fifth-highest wages, shooting it into the top spot. The other side of the story is the Philippines, which is placed in the bottom ten (170th).

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.10%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 18.23
  • Countries tested: 11
  • Total tariffs measured: 2,797

8. Central Asia

The region has the cheapest mobile data plans, with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan phone contracts averaging below USD 10.00. However, the region also has the second-lowest wages in the world.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.35%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 8.88
  • Countries tested: 4
  • Total tariffs measured: 571

9. Central America

The cheapest plans in the region can be found in Nicaragua and El Salvador, but average salaries are well below the world average. This results in the majority of the nations being placed in the bottom half of the study. Honduras breaks away from the pack and is up in an impressive 19th.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.46%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 23.15
  • Countries tested: 8
  • Total tariffs measured: 1,201

10. Southern Asia

Economic powerhouse India (11th) just misses out on the global top 10 for mobile data affordability. Three of the top four countries for the cheapest data plans are in Southern Asia. Iran, India, and Pakistan all have average mobile data costs under USD 4.00.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.50%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 13.91
  • Countries tested: 9
  • Total tariffs measured: 6,225

11. Western Asia

The content holds places in both the top and bottom ten. Israel comes third in the world, thanks to cheap mobile plans and average salaries more than double the global average. Lebanon and Syria are in the bottom ten (171st and 176th).

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.69%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 24.67
  • Countries tested: 18
  • Total tariffs measured: 5,521

12. Southern Africa

Lesotho is the highest-placed country, in a lofty 18th place. The highest wages in the region are in South Africa, but a monthly SIM and phone plan will cost USD 31.18 and is placed 89th.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.71%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 21.86
  • Countries tested: 6
  • Total tariffs measured: 798

13. Northern Africa

Northern Africa on average has the second-cheapest mobile data. Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and Morocco all have data plans under USD 10. However, the region comes bottom for average salary (USD 274.15) and consequently, all countries finish between 95th (Morocco) and 137th (Sudan).

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 3.82%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 9.86
  • Countries tested: 6
  • Total tariffs measured: 1,457

14. South America

South America’s data plans are cheaper than the global average, but because wages are below the world average, purchasing power isn’t as strong. South America is the first continent in the study above the world average for mobile data as a percentage of salary. The best-placed nation is Uruguay in 57th.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 4.43%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 16.90
  • Countries tested: 12
  • Total tariffs measured: 2,869

15. Oceania

Fiji and Solomon Islands have the cheapest mobile plans in the region (USD 13.42 and USD 13.07), but the good news stops there. The region has the third-highest cost for mobile data and the purchasing power is reduced as half of the countries have wages lower than USD 1,000. Papua New Guinea is in the bottom 5 globally for affordability.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 5.37%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 35.15
  • Countries tested: 10
  • Total tariffs measured: 2,159

16. Caribbean

Three of the top five nations for the most expensive mobile data are in the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, Bahamas, and Saint Lucia all have data plans that average USD 70 or more. It may be pricey, but Puerto Rico leads the way when it comes to 5G network deployment, capable of download speeds over 100Mb. However, its near neighbor, Cuba has the slowest mobile network in the world, where users would struggle to stream content from platforms such as Disney Plus or Amazon Prime.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 5.79%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 46.86
  • Countries tested: 13
  • Total tariffs measured: 374

17. Eastern Africa

Somalia, Burundi, and Djibouti feature in the top 100 for data affordability. The continent has mobile data plans below the global average, but lower-than-average wages reduce the purchasing power of customers. The British telecoms giant, Vodafone, has a strong presence in the region. Operating in Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 6.37%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 22.72
  • Countries tested: 15
  • Total tariffs measured: 559

18. Middle Africa

Overall, the continent has the sixth-highest data tariff costs in the world. Only the Democratic Republic of the Congo has a better percentage of data costs to an average salary (3.31%) than the world average (4.09%). All countries are placed outside the top 100 for mobile data affordability.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 8.29%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 25.31
  • Countries tested: 4
  • Total tariffs measured: 77

19. Western Africa

Two of the bottom five countries for mobile data affordability are in Western Africa. Ivory Coast comes 177th and Guinea is placed bottom of the study. A big factor is Guinea has the most expensive tariff costs (USD 115.58). Liberia is the best-placed country in the region (33rd) and the giant of Africa, Nigeria, has very reasonably priced mobile data (USD 5.71) but is placed 143rd.

  • Mobile data as a percentage of salary: 11.04%
  • Average phone plan cost: USD 29.79
  • Countries tested: 12
  • Total tariffs measured: 306


We compared the average reported monthly mobile phone bill with 10GB+ of mobile data against the average wage for people from 179 countries to work out the cost of internet as a percentage of salary.

  • Reported monthly phone plan and wages by country: a robust and comprehensive international survey dataset included 70,806 people from 179 countries reporting their wages and monthly mobile phone plan (including 10GB+ of data).
  • Our table's default order is by ‘rank’ (low to high); the percentage of the average mobile phone bill as a percentage of the average local salary.

Mobile plans are measured from an average pay monthly contract.

  • Extra costs such as handsets, hotspots, add-ons, and data usage beyond the customer’s maximum allowance are not included in the study
  • Pay-as-you-go contracts are not included.
  • The price impact of unlimited text and unlimited minutes is not accounted for.

Currency normalisation:

  • Phone tariffs were recorded in the local or native currency between 26/01/2023 and 26/01/2024 and then converted to US Dollars (USD) for a fair comparison.
  • The study is displayed in USD, as it is the world’s reserve currency and predominantly the standard currency unit in which goods are quoted.
  • The conversion rate between the local currency and USD was calculated on 26/01/2024.

Countries we excluded and why

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