Which country has the most expensive phone service?

Isabella Roland • 15 Feb 2023 • 3 min read

If there’s one bill many of us dread paying each month, it’s our phone bill. Whether you’ve racked it up via texts or through constant data usage, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your phone activity to avoid going over our contract limit. 

But are we actually paying out that much each month compared to the rest of the world? To find out, VoiceNation mapped out the average cell phone data costs using worldwide mobile data pricing provided by Cable.co.uk.

We analyzed more than 6,000 mobile data plans in 230 different countries and used this data to find out the average cell phone bill for each country worldwide, based on the cost of 1GB of data.

Here’s what we found out!

How much does the cost of data impact the average cell phone bill?

The average amount of mobile data used per smartphone is projected to increase four-fold over the course of the next few years. In fact, the worldwide average monthly amount of data used per smartphone was 9 GB in 2020. And this is estimated to reach a staggering 35 GB by 2026! 

But the cost of phone service by country certainly differs across the globe. For example, in Canada, users are looking at paying $5.72 for just 1GB of mobile data per month, while in Brazil, this can be as low as just $0.92!

In comparison, the cost of data in the United States compared to the rest of the world sits at $3.33, placing us towards the middle of the list, and below the global average of $4.07 per 1GB.

In depth graph of world map regarding how much a gigabyte costs around the world

Which country is home to the most expensive phone bill?

Based on our data, it would seem that Equatorial Guinea is the country with the most expensive mobile data, with an average price of $49.67 per gigabyte. That’s 12 times the global average cost of data!

In fact, Equatorial Guinea is just one of two parts of the world where the average price of 1 GB of data was more than $40! With the other being the $44.56 per GB cost of data in the Falkland Islands. 

Sub-Saharan Africa also contains an additional five of the top ten countries with the most expensive data costs in the world, although it also contains the place with the fifth-cheapest Internet data – Sudan.

But why is the cost of mobile data so expensive in sub-Saharan Africa? Well, the main reason for more expensive cell phone bills appears to be the lack of competition between local mobile network operators.

Overall, the price of 1GB of data was found to be higher in countries that only had two networks rather than in countries with more rival networks competing for business. 

The 20 countries with the most expensive phone service

The following are the most expensive countries in the world for phone service:

  1. Equatorial Guinea – $49.67
  2. Falkland Islands – $44.56
  3. Saint Helena – $39.87
  4. São Tomé and Príncipe – $30.97
  5. Malawi – $25.46
  6. Chad – $23.33
  7. Namibia – $22.37
  8. Turkmenistan – $21.41
  9. Tokelau – $20.48
  10. Bermuda – $19.80
  11. Yemen – $15.98
  12. Cocos (Keeling) Islands – $13.47
  13. Cayman Islands – $11.97
  14. Caribbean Netherlands – $10.94
  15. Kiribati – $9.94
  16. Virgin Islands (British) – $9.54
  17. Central African Republic – $9.03
  18. Cyprus – $8.84
  19. Seychelles – $8.64
  20. Greece – $8.16

Which countries have the lowest average cell phone bill?

Compared to the countries with the world’s most expensive phone bills, it would seem that users in Israel are paying the least for data. With an average price of just $0.05 per gigabyte of data. That’s 80 times below the global average!

To put that in perspective, users in Equatorial Guinea are paying over 1,000 times that of people in Israel. This is also matched further by countries like Italy, Chile, and China, all of whom are paying well below the global average for their data. 

The 20 countries with the least expensive phone service:

The following are the least expensive countries for phone service:

  1. Israel: $0.05
  2. Kyrgyzstan: $0.15
  3. Fiji: $0.19
  4. Italy: $0.27
  5. Sudan: $0.27
  6. Russia: $0.29
  7. Moldova: $0.32
  8. Bangladesh: $0.34
  9. Sri Lanka: $0.38
  10. Chile: $0.39
  11. France: $0.41
  12. Indonesia: $0.42
  13. Belarus: $0.43
  14. San Marino: $0.43
  15. Vietnam: $0.49
  16. Algeria: $0.51
  17. China: $0.52
  18. Samoa: $0.56
  19. Pakistan: $0.59
  20. Kazakhstan: $0.59

So, how did your country rank when it comes to the average cost of 1 GB of mobile data? Perhaps you really are paying more than you need to for your monthly phone bill, in which case, VoiceNation might be able to help.

With our answering services and bilingual  services, we can handle incoming calls for you, helping take the pressure off your customer service team and letting you focus where it counts. Get in touch today to learn more.

And if you’re interested in similar content, why not read our article on how much the top telecom companies in the world make per second? 

By Isabella Roland

Isabella Roland is a Marketing Assistant at VoiceNation. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary History and a Minor in Business Administration at Georgia Gwinnett College and often spends time at school as an active member of the GGC Honors Program. In her free time, she can be found reading, exploring, or cooking.