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2019-03-19 04:51:06 Upload
India's falling data prices have reached a new low. Conforming to a recent BBC report, the country has the cheapest mobile broadband prices in the world.
The BBC report, citing a UK-based price comparison site, said 1 gigabyte (GB) of mobile data cost $0.26 in India (£0.20), compared with $12.37 in the US, $6.66 in the UK, and a global average of $8.53.
But many Indian users said they were actually paying less than $0.10 at per gigabyte. Customers in the US and UK too said they were paying less than what the survey reported.
Whatever the true cost, mobile data in India is many times cheaper than elsewhere. But it might not last: some said India's low prices were a transient phase as big operators fought for new customers.
Sourav Sen, a consultant with an investment firm in London, said he pays the price of three to four cups of coffee a month, or $13, for his mobile service. That gives unlimited UK voice and texts, with EU roaming for voice and up to 3GB of data. He doesn't need more because of free WiFi everywhere. The UK has some cheaper plans, but ubiquitous free WiFi makes real comparisons with Asia difficult.
Mr. Sen also points out that when he is visiting India, he is offered data at almost $6.62 per megabyte (MB), which is a staggering $6,779 per GB - and about 70,000 times more than what locals pay for data.
Far away in Gurgaon, a suburb of capital Delhi, Ramnath Mandal, used as a driver, pays less than $3 a month for unlimited free calls. With that he gets 42GB of 4G data, at 1.5GB a day, which he uses for viewing videos and for WhatsApp calls to his family and friends in the state of Bihar. That's less than 6 cents per GB - 70 times cheaper than what Mr. Sen pays for his 4G data in London.